Things aren’t going Iran’s way.

Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose fighters clashed with U.S. troops after Saddam Hussein was driven from power, has recast himself as a bulwark against Iranian influence as Iraqi voters head to the ballot box.

Al-Sadr’s Shiite militia known as the the Mahdi Army was blamed for the mass killings of Sunni civilians in sectarian violence that wracked Iraq in 2006 and 2007, and for cleansing Sunnis from parts of Baghdad.

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