Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani says the inability of Iraq's politicians to form a new government is a ''regrettable failure.'' Jillian Kitchener reports.
Discord in Iraq. Sunni militants launched a lightning assault across northern Iraq last month. And Parliament has not been successful at picking a new government to unite the ethnically divided country. In a sermon delivered by his aide, Iraq's most powerful Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani expressed his disappointment. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AYATOLLAH ALI AL-SISTANI'S AIDE, AHMED AL-SAFI, DELIVERING SERMON SAYING: "Last Tuesday, the first session of parliament convened. People were optimistic that this would be a good start for this council in its commitment to the constitutional and legal texts. But what happened afterwards, in that the speaker and his deputies were not elected before the session finished, was a regrettable failure." Parliament's first meeting since the April election ended abruptly with Kurdish and Sunni Muslim lawmakers walking out. ...Full of complaints that Shi'ite Muslims had not decided on a prime minister.