Washington, Aug 23 –  The United States on Tuesday called for “calm” in the face of the political crisis in Iraq, where protests by followers of religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr have intensified in a country with Parliament paralyzed and the Government in functions.

“The protests are a fundamental element for democracy, but there should be no room for violence, neither from the security forces nor from the protesters. The United States calls on both parties to calm down,” a spokesman for the Department told reporters. of State.

Iraq has been experiencing a political paralysis since the parliamentary elections last October gave victory to the Sadrist bloc but with an insufficient majority, for which other forces led by pro-Iranian Shiites blocked the formation of a government.

The Iraqi Judiciary announced on Tuesday the suspension of its work after followers of the Sadrist movement set up a camp in front of the Supreme Council of Justice to demand the calling of early elections.

The spokesman for the State Department said that the elections last October demonstrated “the desire of the Iraqis to carry out reforms” and extended his hand to work with the government chosen by the Parliament that emerged from those elections.

“It is up to the Iraqis to choose their leaders. We hope that the new Iraqi government will reflect the will of the people,” the official said, adding that the United States is committed to a “strong, stable and prosperous Iraq.”

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