Pope Francis, 84, the head of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, 90, the spiritual leader of most of the world’s Shia Muslims, talked for almost an hour during the first ever papal visit to Iraq, the pontiff’s first trip abroad since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“President Barham Salih has his own candidate, the current head of intelligence Mustafa al-Kadhemi. There is no veto on the personality of Kadhemi; however, the serious problem is the attempt of the President to dismiss the power of the Parliament and his rejection of the will of the largest parliamentary coalition”, said the source.
Sources in Najaf stated “the Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Sistani has repeatedly stated that power emanates from the people and not from the President. It is the people and their representatives who make the decisions and if a new Prime Minister is rejected by the people he will not last long in office”.
„It is imperative on peaceful demonstrators that they separate their ranks from non-peaceful individuals and cooperate on shunning saboteurs – whoever they are – and not allow them to abuse peaceful protests to damage and attack the property of citizens,“ a representative of Ayatollah Sistani said as he delivered the top cleric’s sermon.
„The enemies and their levers, in order to achieve their malicious goals, plan to spread chaos and plunge the country into internal strife and then return it to dictatorship, so everyone must work together to take away this opportunity from them,“ he added.
Abdul Mahdi’s decision came in response to a call for a change of leadership on Friday by Iraq’s top Shi’ite Muslim cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the statement said.
„In response to this call, and in order to facilitate it as quickly as possible, I will present to parliament a demand (to accept) my resignation from the leadership of the current government,“ said the statement, signed by Abdul Mahdi.
Jeanine Antoinette Hennis-Plasschaert, a Dutch diplomat serving as Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations assistance mission in Iraq since November 2018, visited the Grand Ayatollah Sistani at his home in Najaf. A few days later, Thursday the 14th at 20:00 pm, IRGC-Quds brigade commander Qassem Soleimani landed at Najaf airport and visited Sayyed Sistani to discuss his requests for a solution to the unrest in the country. Soleimani returned to Baghdad the same evening with clear answers: reforms are inevitable within a specific time-table, and the US and Iran should stop intervening because protestors are for the most part sincere and have justified demands.
The governor of the Iraqi capital province of Baghdad, Fallah al-Jazairi, has stepped down in the wake of demonstrations against corruption, unemployment and poor public services in the country.
On Sunday, members of the Provincial Council voted in favor of accepting Jazairi’s resignation, and he quit his post.
„There have been unacceptable and condemned attacks on demonstrators, policemen and properties in Baghdad along with a number of provinces,“ al-Sistani said in a statement.
„In different areas, the demonstrations have led to riots and bloody clashes that left dozens of victims and wounded,“ he added.
Sistani warned of the „serious repercussions of the use of violence and counter-violence,“ calling for „avoiding it in all cases“.
Meanwhile, the correspondent for the Iran-based Arabic-language al-Alam television news network, Navid Behrouz, reported that the captured terrorists had planned to incite protesters to storm Ayatollah Sistani’s office.
Earlier in the day, Grand Ayatollah Sistani urged Iraqi security forces and protesters to avoid violence, expressing sorrow over some sporadic unrest that has led to several casualties.
“It is sorrowful there have been so many deaths, casualties and destruction” from clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in recent days, he said in a letter on Friday.
(14. Februar 2007)
Seit Jahren wird er in der „westlichen Presse“ als grausamer und einflußreicher „Schiitenführer“ promoted. Trotz Todesschwadronen, Morden und Massakern wurde er von der Besatzungsmacht zu keinem Zeitpunkt ernsthaft behelligt. Man erzählte zwar, „man wolle, man müßte, man werde“, aber nie passierte irgendetwas, während im ganzen Land das Gemetzel an Intellektuellen, Gebildeten, Journalisten, Ärzten und allen Anderen tobte, residierte el Sadr/al-Sadr/Sadr die ganze Zeit in aller Seelenruhe zuerst mitten in Bagdad, dann in Kerbela (wir berichteten am 15.November 2006, 17)
Die ganze Zeit versuchte Sadr, die Aufmerksamkeit von Ayatollah al-Sistani zu erregen und seine Rolle zu übernehmen.
2003 versuchten die Anhänger Sadr´s die Kontrolle über die schiitischen Heiligtümer in Kerbela von Sistani zu übernehmen, es gelang ihnen nicht (15). Wieder und wieder zwängte sich Sadr den Schiiten auf, wieder und wieder versuchte er Sistani, die einzige Figur, die den Irak noch retten kann und will, als geistiges, moralisches und spirituelles Oberhaupt zu ersetzen. Es gelang ihm nicht.