Iraq's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric has called for the prosecution of the most senior officials suspected of corruption and the retrieval of stolen funds.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani made the call on September 4 in a message delivered by a representative in a Friday sermon.
Sistani called for "convincing and assuring steps" as proof of government seriousness in implementing its reform plan.
Referring to Iraq's Integrity Commission, a government body tasked with fighting corruption, and the judiciary, he also said, "Many wonder if they are up to the task and if they will carry out this mission without any more delays."
The remarks came hours before weekly rallies, which began in August, to protest shabby services, endemic corruption, and sectarian politics.