Ali Husaini Sistani

The Mullah to See

Iraq's most powerful leader speaks Arabic with a decidedly Iranian accent and is never seen in public. There have been only six "official" photos of him published, and his most loyal followers have never heard his voice. He rarely leaves his small, dusty Najaf house other than to travel down a dirt path to his religious seminary. He shuns all interviews with the press and refuses to meet with Iraq's American occupiers. Yet with one call last November, Grand Ayatullah Ali Husaini Sistani brought plans for an American transfer of power to a grinding halt. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's...

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