Iraqis protest detention of Shia cleric in Iran

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By Ali Jawad,

Baghdad: Fresh protests erupted in Iraq’s southern Karbala province on Saturday against the arrest of Shia cleric Hossein Shirazi in Iran.

Scores of demonstrators waved banners calling for Shirazi’s release amid calls for the Iraqi government to intervene to free the Shia cleric.

“The Iraqi government should intervene to release him,” Fadl Shirazi, a protester, told Anadolu Agency.

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He said the Shia cleric has been placed under house arrest in Qom city in southwestern Iraq since last week.

Shirazi was detained by Iranian authorities last week after he criticized Iran’s ruling system during a religious sermon.

Originally an Iraqi national, Shirazi is known for his harsh criticism of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Tehran government.

—AA

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