Zarif appreciates role of Ayatollah Sistani in Iraqi politics

September 28, 2020 - 21:16

TEHRAN – In a tweet on Monday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif paid tribute to a grand Iraqi religious leader, after a distinguished Iranian journalist criticized the figure.

“The grand Marja, his eminence, Ayatollah Sistani is the fortress of Iraq, the security valve for the region, and an asset for the entire Islamic world. Iran appreciates the role of his eminence in establishing security and stability in Iraq, preserving its sovereignty and territorial integrity, getting rid of the occupation forces, and building a new Iraq according to the requirements of its brotherly people,” tweeted Zarif.

The foreign minister’s tweet came after the prominent journalist, Hossein Shariatmadari, the managing editor of Kayhan newspaper, criticized the grand Marja for calling on the United Nations to help Iraq in holding transparent parliamentary elections. During a meeting with Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the special representative of the secretary-general for the United Nations assistance mission for Iraq, Ayatollah Sistani called on the UN to provide support to the Iraqi authorities in terms of overseeing the parliamentary election.

Accusing the UN of advancing U.S. interests, Shriatmadari said in an editorial published by Kayhan that the Iraqi Marja shouldn’t have called on the UN to monitor the Iraqi election.

Shariatmadari’s criticism sparked a wave of outrage among Iraqi leaders, which encouraged the journalist to offer his apologies to the Marja.

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