RealNews

Top Shiite cleric seeks shift in Iraqi political power

In the three and a half years since the fall of Saddam Hussein, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has been the spiritual custodian of Shiite political dominance here, corralling Iraq’s fractious Shiite political parties into a single alliance to rule the country after centuries of oppression. But the ayatollah has grown increasingly distressed as the Shiite-led government has proven incapable of taming the violence and improving public services, and he now appears to be backing away from his insistence that the Shiite bloc be the dominant political player here and hold together at all costs, Iraqi and Western officials say. Full Story

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