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Iraq protests enter 2nd month, top cleric warns foreign actors against interfering

Iraq’s top cleric warned foreign actors on Friday against interfering in the country’s anti-government protests as they entered their second month.

As the demonstrations have evolved since October 1 from rage over corruption and unemployment into calls for the “downfall of the regime,” more than 250 people have died and 10,000 have been wounded in the past month, AFP reported.

In his weekly sermon, read by a representative, the top Shiite religious authority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said that “no regional or international actor may seize the will of the Iraqi people and impose its will on them.”

Sistani’s statement came a day after comments by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “I seize this opportunity to tell those who care about Iraq and Lebanon to remedy insecurity as their priority,” Khamenei said, without elaborating.