Cleric issues fatwa against US-Iraqi pact

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - An influential Iraqi cleric living in Iran has issued a religious decree calling a proposed U.S.-Iraqi security pact "a sin God won't forgive."

The security pact, which has not been approved, would keep American troops in Iraq for three more years.

In his fatwa, Ayatollah Kazim al-Hosseini al-Haeri calls the proposed agreement "haram" - which in Arabic means "forbidden" by Islam.

The fatwa was posted on al-Haeri's web site Wednesday. The cleric says the U.S. is pressuring the Iraqi government to approve the deal that brings "humiliation and sacrifices Iraq's national sovereignty."

Al-Haeri, based in the Iranian holy city of Qom, is believed to be a mentor of anti-U.S. Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose followers oppose the deal.

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