Skip to main content

Could Sistani Be Iraq’s Last Hope?

Many in Iraq are looking to the country’s highest Shiite authority, Ali al-Sistani, as a last resort for a solution to the ongoing and dire political crisis there, writes Ali Abel Sadah.
Iraqis carry a poster of top Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani during a demonstration in Najaf, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad June 13, 2007. Dozens of residents took to the streets in Najaf protesting the latest bomb attack in Samarra's Golden Mosque Shi'ite shrine.     REUTERS/Ali Abu Shish    (IRAQ) - RTR1QQY3
Read in 

On April 15, 2013, Martin Kobler, Head of the UN mission in Iraq, met with Ali al-Sistani, the highest Shiite authority in Najaf, a meeting which observers described as the most important since the outbreak of protests in Ramadi and other provinces.

Kobler quoted the cleric, the most influential in Iraq, as saying that he has a “roadmap” to solve the crisis that erupted on Nov. 25, 2012. Kobler said the map “includes the return of the leaders of Iraqi political blocs to the negotiating table by adopting moderate positions.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.