Latest Ali al-Sistani News

In this Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, Shiite seminary students attend a lecture at

Aging Shiite cleric a powerhouse in Iraq. What comes after?

Feb. 18, 2020 12:45 AM EST

NAJAF, Iraq (AP) — When Iraq’s top Shiite cleric underwent surgery for a fractured bone last month, it sent shivers around the country and beyond. “May God heal Iraq,” read a photo of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani that circulated online. Frantic supporters shared prayers....

In this Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 photo, women shop for Valentine's Day gifts in Najaf, Iraq. In recent years, Valentine's in Najaf has emerged as a field of contention. It pitted revelers who see in it harmless fun and personal freedom advocates against conservatives who view it as sacrilege--a foreign celebration that has no place in a holy city like Najaf. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

Valentine's Day brings love and some worry in Iraq holy city

Feb. 14, 2020 12:07 PM EST

NAJAF, Iraq (AP) — Hasanain al-Rufaye was busy in his flower shop wrapping bouquets, stuffing dolls into gift boxes and sprinkling petals into others labeled with “LOVE,” while simultaneously fielding orders. “It’s Valentine’s these days. On normal days, it would have...

FILE - In this May 22, 2014 file photo, shiite pilgrims pass a poster of Shiite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, as they head to the shrine of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric whose opinion is often sought during troubled times will undergo surgery for a fractured bone, according to two officials and a statement from his office on Thursday. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)

Iraq's top cleric calls for state to protect protests

Feb. 7, 2020 8:10 AM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric called for security forces to protect anti-government protesters in a Friday sermon, after weeks of violence in Baghdad and southern Iraq, and amid seething tensions between demonstrators and followers of a radical preacher. Grand Ayatollah Ali...

Security forces try to disperse anti-government protesters during clashes in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Iraqi cleric condemns use of force, 11 protesters wounded

Jan. 31, 2020 3:54 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's most powerful religious figure, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, reiterated Friday his condemnation of the use of force against anti-government protesters as the mass movement enters a critical juncture and political blocs tussle over naming a new premier. Separately, at least four...

An anti-government protester, center, who was shot with an air rifle by police, is taken to receive first aid during clashes with security forces in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Iraq's president issues deadline to choose next PM

Jan. 29, 2020 1:33 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's president has given rival political blocs a deadline to select a prime minister nearly two months after the outgoing premier resigned under pressure from mass demonstrations, his office said in a statement Wednesday. Violence continued for a second week in Baghdad's Tahrir Square,...

Anti-government protesters hold a huge Iraqi flag as they gather during a protest in Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Iraqi protesters defy top cleric and return to the streets

Jan. 26, 2020 3:28 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — One protester was killed by security forces after hundreds of anti-government protesters flooded the streets of Iraq's capital and southern provinces on Sunday, defying a powerful Iraqi religious leader who recently withdrew his support from the popular movement. Separately, five Katyusha...

Followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gather in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Thousands of supporters of an influential, radical Shiite cleric gathered Friday in central Baghdad for a rally to demand that American troops leave the country amid heightened anti-US sentiment after a drone strike ordered by Washington earlier this month killed a top Iranian general in the Iraqi capital. (AP Photo)

Iraqis rally against US troops, demanding they leave

Jan. 24, 2020 12:21 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Waving national flags and banners denouncing U.S. President Donald Trump, tens of thousands of Iraqis marched peacefully through Baghdad on Friday to demand the ouster of U.S. troops from their country in a protest organized by a populist Shiite cleric. Later Friday night, two...

An anti-government protester throws a stone towards security forces during an ongoing protest in central Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Iraqi officials: 3 dead, dozens wounded in Baghdad protests

Jan. 20, 2020 5:41 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi security forces fired tear gas and live rounds during clashes with anti-government protesters overnight and Monday morning in Baghdad, killing three and wounding dozens of demonstrators, officials said. Separately, three katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, the...

Posters of protesters who have been killed in anti-government demonstrations and their belongings are displayed in Tahrir Square, in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Officials, activists: 2 Iraqi protesters killed in Baghdad

Jan. 17, 2020 3:15 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Two protesters were killed and over a dozen wounded in central Baghdad on Friday in renewed violence between anti-government demonstrators and Iraqi security forces, activists and officials said. The deaths followed weeks of calm. Riot police fired tear gas and hurled sound bombs to...

FILE - This handout photo from the office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani shows senior Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf on March, 13, 2019.  At least 13 people were stabbed Thursday, Dec. 5,  in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Iraq’s protest movement, security and medical officials said, stoking fears of infiltration by unknown groups among anti-government demonstrators. The protesters aligned with parties had marched to Tahrir earlier that day, mostly young men clad in black and waiving Iraqi flags. They chanted positive slogans in deference to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most powerful Shiite cleric, and stood conspicuous against the usual crowds of Tahrir protesters.  (Office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, via AP)

Officials: Iraq's top cleric discharged from hospital

Jan. 17, 2020 8:33 AM EST

KARBALA, Iraq (AP) — Iraq's most powerful cleric was discharged Friday from a hospital following a risky surgery for a fractured bone and returned to his home in southern Iraq, medical officials said. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who turns 90 later this year, fractured a thigh bone when he slipped...