Ayatollah Sistani: No foreign player must impose their will on Iraqi people
Ayatollah Sistani, a Grand Ayatollah and the most influential religious leader in Iraq supported the demands of the protesters in the country and warned that no foreign player must impose their will on the Iraqi protesters.
Sistani’s representative read his statement on Friday during the sermon in Karbala: “No person, group, or side with certain agenda, or regional or international player should suppress the will of the Iraqi people, or impose their will on the Iraqis.
Sistani added that reforms in Iraq must be according to the will of the people of Iraq and not a political party.
He also condemned the violence in Iraq and called on all sides not to pressure the armed forces to crack down on peaceful protesters.
Sistani’s comments come a day after it was reported that Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds force, prevented the ousting of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in a secret meeting. Hours before that on Thursday, President Salih had announced that the prime minister is willing to step down.
It was also reported that Soleimani had told Iraqi security officials: “We in Iran know how to deal with protests. Same thing happened in Iran and we got it under control.”
Sistani’s stance on Friday could be considered a response to comments made by Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, regarding the protests in Iraq. Khamenei had claimed that the protests in Iraq and Lebanon are caused by Western intelligence services.
However, some Western and Arab countries and many Iraqi protesters accuse Iran of intervening in Iraq’s domestic affairs.
Brian Hook, the US special envoy on Iran said in an interview with Al-Arabiya yesterday that the Islamic Republic of Iran has spent over $16 billion on its proxy militia groups in Syria and Iraq.
In the videos and images published from Iraq protests, many protesters are holding signs or chanting against Iran’s involvement in the violent suppression of protesters.