Iran denies that Shiite cleric al-Sadr in Iran

Iran's Foreign Ministry denied on Sunday that radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was in Iran, calling statements by US and Iraqi officials saying he had traveled to Iran "psychological warfare." "No, he is not in Iran," Mohammad Ali Hoseini, spokesman for the ministry told journalists in a regular press briefing in a response to a query about al-Sadr. "Basically, the report is baseless and a kind of psychological warfare against Iran by the US to put more pressure on Iran," Hoseini said in the first Iranian comment on US and Iraqi statements last week. An adviser to Iraq's prime minister said last Thursday that al-Sadr was in Iran, but denied that the cleric had fled there due to fear of arrest during a security crackdown. A member of al-Sadr's bloc in parliament said the cleric had left Iraq three weeks earlier.