At least 65 people have been killed over three days of protests in Baghdad that have grown violent, and the death toll continues to rise.
Scores of protesters have taken to the streets calling out government corruption.
Protesters say they are angry at government inaction in the face of corruption and the lack of economic opportunity.
Police on Friday continued to fire on demonstrators, Reuters reported, and at least 190 people have been wounded in what are the country’s most violent protests in two years.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the spiritual leader of Iraq’s majority Shiite population, said in a letter that “it is sorrowful that there have been so many deaths, casualties and destruction.”
“The government and political sides have not answered the demands of the people to fight corruption or achieved anything on the ground,” he continued. “Parliament holds the biggest responsibility for what is happening.”