The Day after al-Sistani

NESA Professor Dr. Hassan Abbas writes for CGP: “The world’s most prominent Shiite religious leader, Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, commands a great deal of influence and respect – not just in Iraq, but around the world. Questions about who will succeed the cleric and how the reportedly complicated selection process will unfold are being raised frequently, given his age – and perhaps because of the political instability and rising distress in Iraq and the broader region, especially since the U.S. move to effect regime change in Baghdad in 2003. The principal question is whether he is irreplaceable or if his successor can be expected to fulfill a similar moderating role in Iraqi politics and offer balance in the geopolitics between the United States and Iran. Should U.S. policy makers and strategists be concerned about the transition and succession of religious leadership?” Read in full here.