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50 People Who Matter 2010 | 33. Moqtada al-Sadr

Free radical.

The Iranian-backed cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has mutated from being America's "most wanted" militant to the "kingmaker" (or Nick Clegg) of the Iraqi political establishment.

Now that US troops have withdrawn, the political and theological leader maintains huge influence despite having no official role. His power is fuelled by the absence of an Iraqi government six months after the general election.


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This article first appeared in the 27 September 2010 issue of the New Statesman, The 50 people who matter