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Iraq could face 'partition' without reform: top Shiite cleric

An Iraqi man holds a poster with a portrait of Shiite Muslim spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on June 19, 2014, in the southern city of BasraIraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, warned on Thursday that the country faces dire consequences including possible “partition” if real reform is not carried out. Sistani, who is revered by millions and has unmatched prestige in Iraq, has made several calls for reforms this month that have played a major role in a wide-ranging anti-corruption drive by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. “Today, if true reform is not realised by fighting corruption without mercy and realising social justice on different levels, it is expected that circumstances will become worse than before,” Sistani said in a written response from his office to questions from AFP.

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