RealNews

Shiites: Cleric Won’t Support Coalition

Shiite lawmakers said Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric withheld support Saturday for a U.S.-backed plan to build a coalition across sectarian lines, jeopardizing hopes that such a show of political unity could help stem the country’s deadly violence. Members of the United Iraqi Alliance, the Shiite coalition that dominates parliament, met with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf after traveling to the holy city over the past few days. Al-Sistani holds no political post and rarely emerges from his home and adjacent office, but he has strong influence over Shiite politics. Full Story

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