Top Iraqi Shi’ite Cleric Warns of Western Interference

West Can't Use ISIS War as Pretext for Meddling

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the top Shi’ite cleric in Iraq, today said he was open to the idea of a US-led military intervention against ISIS, but that any such operation required serious scrutiny from Iraqi officials.

“Even if Iraq is in need of help from its brothers and friends in fighting black terrorism, maintaining the sovereignty and independence of its decisions is of the highest importance,” insisted Sistani’s spokesman during a Friday sermon.

The sermon went on to caution that cooperation with the ISIS war must not be used as a “pretext to impose foreign decisions on events in Iraq, especially military events.”

Sistani’s comments are likely aimed at placating supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr, another high profile cleric who has been an outspoken opponent of the return of US troops to the nation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of