Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tweeted on Monday that turning Basra into an autonomous region is “not the solution.”
The Basra provincial council unanimously voted on Monday to turn the oil-rich southern governorate into an autonomous region.
Sadr posted on Twitter that turning Basra into a region would weaken it and makes it easier for its resources to get stolen by officials and outsiders.
He also called upon Iraqis to maintain the unity of their country, even if the decision was the result of the will of Basra’s oppressed residents.
Head of the Basra provincial council, Sabah Al-Bazoni, told reporters that as many as 20 council members voted in
Al-Bazoni explained that the council has formed a committee to follow up on the results and to support efforts that are consistent with the region’s vision.
“All this aims to take Basra’s administrative and financial benefits from the federal government, in accordance with the Constitution,” he added.