Iran welcomes Iraq’s new prime minister

Al-Monitor – Iranian officials have welcomed the appointment of Mustafa al-Kadhimi as the new prime minister-designate of Iraq. Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, said the Islamic Republic of Iran “welcomes the agreement between all of Iraq’s political parties to introduce Khadhimi as the prime minister and sees it as the correct path and step.” Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, tweeted a similar sentiment, saying that Iran will support whoever is selected by Iraq’s parliament.

Kadhimi, the head of Iraq’s National Intelligence Service, is the third Iraqi prime minister asked to form a cabinet after Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned in December due to anti-government protests. The previous candidate, Adnan al-Zurfi, withdrew after failing to create a cabinet, citing “domestic and foreign issues.”

Gen. Ismail Ghaani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, was in Iraq before Kadhimi’s nomination. According to Iraqi parliamentarian Hossein Fadaam, who belongs to the political bloc led by Ammar al-Hakim and enjoys close relations with Iran, Ghaani told Iraqi officials in his meetings that Iran “will not interfere in Iraq’s domestic affairs or in choosing a prime minister.” Fadaam’s comments to an Iraqi television station were reprinted by a number of Iranian media outlets.

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