Several protesters interviewed on Monday said Sistani’s agreement with the UN would be of little use unless politicians listened, which they doubted.
“We’ve been asking for the UN to intervene because we don’t know where else to turn, but what can they do? The politicians are all trying to save themselves, and not even the UN can stop them,” said 24-year-old Zaid.
“The UN blamed them for killing us, but the Iraqi security forces are still shooting at us daily.”
Washington also welcomed the UN plan, but protesters did not welcome that. They perceive Iraq’s leaders as subservient to one of the country’s two main allies, the United States and Iran.
“The United States joins the U.N. Assistance Mission to Iraq in calling on the Iraqi government to halt the violence against protesters and fulfill President (Barham) Salih’s promise to pass electoral reform and hold early elections,” the White House press secretary said in a statement.
“I lost my son in a protest last week – they murdered him,” said one man, his voice cracking. “We don’t want anyone to get involved – not the United Nations, not Iran, not America. We just want them to go! Why won’t they go?”