Sistani threatens toppling Maliki if force used against demonstrators, newspaper
BAGHDAD/ Aswat al-Iraq: Close source to Shiite Clergyman Ali Abdul Mehdi al-Karbala'i in Najaf said to Kuwaiti Siyasa newspaper that the renowned Shiite Clergyman Ali al-Sistani "threatened Premier Nouri al-Maliki to adopt a unified stand against him and calling the Shiite National Council to choose another personality for Premiership, if he ordered to suppress the demonstrators in Sunni Anbar province".
The source added that, according to his source, "Maliki is planning to hold an extraordinary session to the National Security Council to issue final decisions to send special military forces to suppress the demonstrations in Anbar and open the highway by force.
The National Security Council comprises ministers of intelligence, interior, defence and justice, as well as foreign minister and representatives from ministry of finance.
The source added that when the Shiite renowned clergymen knew Maliki's intention held a high ranking meeting and sent a delegate to Baghdad to inform Shiite National Alliance to hold an emergency session for the parliament and withdraw confidence from Maliki if he decided to use force against the demonstrators in Anbar and other Sunni provinces.
The source added that the National Alliance has to select another personality in coordination with other political components, including the Kurds and Iraqiya bloc, "because replacing Maliki, at these moments, will save Iraq from a hard civil war".
The source pointed out that Sistani's close circles believed that the Iranian role during the current crisis with the Sunni sect was "not right", because it tried to support Premier Maliki instead of pacifying the situation and finding solutions.
"Iranian diplomats in Baghdad tried to meet Sistani, but he apologized because he was not content with the Iranian role", the source added.