A top Mahdi Army (JAM) commander in Sadr City has described the role of Iran in building ties to corrupt and "greedy" factions of Sadr's militia:
A year ago, in one of a series of interviews with the Times, his voice rose in anger when he talked of Iran's efforts to co-opt the Mahdi Army movement. He seethed about Tehran's drive to recruit fighters to bomb U.S. convoys at a time when Sadr was trying to halt such activities. He railed against militia members whom Iran had bought off.
At this time of immense pressure, however, he embraces the breakaway factions.
"Not all Jaish al Mahdi members are angels," he acknowledged, using the group's Arabic name. "Some have material interests in mind and they're greedy, and so Iran was able to hit on this particular angle and put them on its side."
But this is the price of survival.