I'll never forget the 3arab jarab, like the Lebanese American professor As3ad Abu Khalil, who denounced Sistani because he did not use his great influence to encourage the Iraqi Shia to fight Americans.
'Iraq’s top Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, may be exerting his influence with squabbling politicians to speed up the formation of a new government as the U.S. withdraws troops, a U.S. diplomat said.
“We know he is following this issue on a daily basis,” departing U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill said at a briefing in Washington yesterday. “I suspect any role he can play he is playing. I suspect he is playing it in the best way he can to ensure that there is a positive outcome here.”
Iraqis are facing uncertainty stemming from a five-month deadlock over the formation of a new government and a renewal in violence as the U.S. completes the pullout of its combat forces from Iraq this month. Sistani, revered by the Shiite community in Iraq, has said in the past all political groups should be included in the government in order to give Iraq stability.
Rarely seen in public, Sistani could be using his influence to end protracted talks that broke down Aug. 16 between the two top vote-getters in the March 7 parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and former premier Ayad Allawi.
Sistani believes “that when the government is finally formed, you will see Sunnis, Shia and Kurds in that government together,” said Hill, who spent the past 16 months in Baghdad.'