Iraq’s PM Says Would Resign in Response to Ayatollah Sistani’s Call
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Iraq’s PM Says Would Resign in Response to Ayatollah Sistani’s Call

In a statement on Friday, Adel Abdul-Mahdi said he “listened with great concern” to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani’s sermon and made his decision in response to the cleric’s remarks. “I will submit to parliament an official memorandum resigning from the current prime minister so that the parliament can review its choices,” he said. “Everyone knows that I had previously suggested this option (to resign) during public and formal statements.” Abdul-Mahdi was appointed Iraq’s fifth prime minister since 2003 as a consensus candidate following months of political wrangling between rival political blocs. In his Friday remarks, the grand Ayatollah called on protesters to “separate their ranks from non-peaceful individuals and cooperate on shunning saboteurs” abusing the peaceful protests. The top cleric also urged security forces to avoid attacking demonstrations of peaceful nature. He warned that “enemies and their levers” are planning to “plunge the country into internal strife” and bring the country back to the “era of dictatorship” - in an apparent reference to the rule of Saddam Hussein. Nearly two months of protests have rocked primarily the capital city of Baghdad and southern areas of Iraq. The protesters have expressed frustration with the failing economy and have demanded political and anti-corruption reforms. The rallies have, however, turned into violent confrontations in numerous occasions, with reports alleging that certain foreign-backed elements have been seeking to wreak havoc in the country.

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