SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has become increasingly critical of Iraqi leaders since Islamic State’s lightning advance, which created Iraq’s worst crisis since a US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Iraq’s army, the recipient of $25 billion in US training and funding, collapsed in the face of the onslaught. Further Islamic State advances and the beheading of Western hostages triggered US-led air strikes.
Speaking on live television through an aide in the holy southern city of Kerbala, Ayatollah Sistani asked rhetorically what would happen if the military were corrupt.
“We think that the security deterioration that happened some months ago can answer that,” said Ayatollah Sistani.
“Objectivity demands that the different military positions should be occupied by those who are professional, patriotic, faithful, courageous and not affected in doing their duties by personal and financial influences.”
Ayatollah Sistani, whose word is law for millions of followers, went on to say that “even the smallest corruption is big”.
The 84-year-old cleric is a reclusive figure and always delivers his public messages via a proxy.