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Iran praises Iraq's 'pro-Tehran' parliament selection

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi delivers a speech in Tehran [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 September, 2018

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The selection of a parliamentary speaker and first deputy could end gridlock over the formation of a new government in Iraq.
Iran praised on Sunday the selections made by Iraq's parliament to elect a pro-Tehran speaker and first deputy, paving the way for a new government four months after legislative elections were held in May. 

"The Islamic Republic of Iran supports decisions made by the (Iraqi) people's elected representatives," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has always supported Iraq's democracy, territorial integrity and national sovereignty," he added.

Iran is a key power broker in neighbouring Iraq and many of the militias that played a central role in ousting the Islamic State group are known to be close to Tehran.

Iraq's national politics has been in paralysis since the 12 May national elections, but Saturday's appointments were expected to end the gridlock.

"We hope we soon witness the election of the president and prime minister to form a new Iraqi government," said Ghasemi.

Lawmakers appointed as speaker former Anbar governor Mohammed al-Halbusi, a Sunni politician backed by a pro-Iran bloc led by Hadi al-Ameri's Conquest Alliance -- a coalition of anti-jihadist veterans close to Tehran.

The post of first deputy speaker was given to Hassan Karim, put forward by populist Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr whose list won the largest share of seats in the election.

Baghdad and Tehran, which fought a brutal war from 1980 to 1988, came closer after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq toppled Saddam Hussein and led to the rise of Iraq's Shia majority on the political landscape. 

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