Top Iraqi Shiite Cleric Urges End To Crisis


Salon Staff
January 20, 2012 4:54PM (UTC)

BAGHDAD (AP) — An aide to Iraq's most prominent Shiite cleric is urging politicians on both sides of the country's sectarian divide to end a government crisis, as fears of civil war rise a month after the U.S. military withdrawal.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's aide Ahmed al-Safi said during a Friday sermon in the holy city of Karbala that the war-ravaged country "cannot bear further tensions among politicians."

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Sistani, revered among Iraqi Shiites, normally exerts his influence through sermons and statements made by his aides.

The crisis erupted last month after the Shiite-led government issued an arrest warrant against the Sunni vice president on terrorism charges. In protest, the Sunni-backed bloc has been boycotting parliament and Cabinet sessions.


Salon Staff

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