The most senior Muslim cleric in Iraq, Ayatollah Sistani, backed the UN in calling on the Iraqi Government to get "serious" about reforms as anti-government protests, that have cost hundreds of lives, continue.
Ten people have been killed in Basra as Iraqi security forces continued their repression of anti-corruption protests, with Iraq's foremost Shia cleric saying the government must meet protesters' demands.
Iraq's top Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said in a letter read by his representative, Ahmed al-Safi, that he urges protesters and security forces not to use violence in the ongoing demonstrations.
In a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the highest ranking Shia religious leader in Iraq, told the Iranian head of state that he welcomes steps to strengthening Iraq’s relations with its neighbours if they are based on respect of sovereignty to no domestic interference.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi has taken many steps in the past two weeks to meet the demands of the demonstrators and assuage their anger. Oil prices have been improving for almost a year, and everyone knows there are sufficient funds to cover all the items of the annual budget