Foreign actors must not impose will on protests: Top Iraqi cleric

TEHRAN, Nov. 01 (MNA) – Iraq’s top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani warned foreign actors on Friday against interfering in anti-government protests that erupted early last month and urged political factions to avoid infighting.

“No person or group, no side with a particular view, no regional or international actor may seize the will of the Iraqi people and impose its will on them,” Sistani said in his weekly sermon read by a representative.

Ayatollah Sistani expressed regret over the continued clashes between demonstrators and security forces, which have resulted in the deaths and injuries of people from both sides and damages to public and private properties.

“The innocent blood shed during the past few weeks is very valuable to us, and measures must be taken to prevent further bloodshed,” the top cleric said.

“The country must be kept from slipping toward the edge of the precipice of a civil war, chaos, and destruction,” Ayatollah Sistani urged.

This is only possible if all parties join hands to resolve the current crisis in the country with good faith, he added.

The top cleric once again condemned any assault on the peaceful protesters and any unjustifiable violence, calling for investigation into those who use violence.

Recent footages released on social media show protesters burning the flags of the US and Israeli regime, who they believe sought to mislead their anti-corruption demonstrations that have been taking place in Iraq since early October.

MNA/2131284/PR

News Code 151803

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