“What has been published in some media outlets about other objectives is unfounded,” he said.
But Shahroudi met with the prime minister and other senior political figures in Baghdad and with Najaf’s political officials during his visit to the provincial council. Thus, his statements upon returning to Iran don’t make much sense.
Of note, it is the custom for Shiite clerics to meet with their counterparts who visit their cities. However, sometimes when they have a problem with each other, they don’t leave any openings in their schedules for meetings.
Some even go further. For instance, Sheikh Wahid Khorasani, a top Shiite authority in Qom and a graduate of the same seminary Shahroudi attended in Najaf, has been a critic of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khorasani leaves Qom every time Khamenei visits.
Given that trend, Shahroudi’s failure to meet with the Shiite authorities in Najaf — even though he remained there for days — raises suspicions. It would seem, based on his meetings, or lack of them, that his political agenda was indeed to unify Shiites ahead of the elections.