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Iran welcomes Allawi's appointment as Iraqi prime minister

February 2, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Iraq’s president Barham Salih (R) assigns the country’s former communications minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi (L) to form a new government, in Baghdad, Iraq on February 1, 2020 [IRAQI PRESIDENCY PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT – Anadolu Agency]

Iran on Sunday offered its full support for new Iraqi prime minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi and reiterated its backing for the government’s demand for US forces to leave the country, according to a report by Reuters.

Iran has deep ties with many Shia political parties and militias in Iraq as well as Kurdish parties from the north. Iranian officials have tried to use their influence to keep a government sympathetic to their interests in power in Baghdad.

“In continuing support for the independence, national sovereignty, territorial integrity and strengthening the foundations of democracy in Iraq along with the legitimate request by the government and people of Iraq for the exit of American forces from the soil of that country, Iran welcomes the selection of Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi as the new prime minister of this country,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

Iran is willing to give any assistance necessary to help Iraq overcome problems and to pass through a sensitive time, Mousavi said, according to the official IRNA news agency.

2020 so far: Iran and allies push forward despite losing Soleimani

Iraqi President Salih appointed Allawi after squabbling lawmakers from rival parties had failed for two months to decide on a successor to Adel Abdul Mahdi, who resigned in November during mass unrest. Allawi must now establish a government within a month, according to the Iraqi constitution.

Allawi appealed to Iraqis for their support on Saturday hours after his appointment by President Barham Salih, but protesters have already rejected him as a stooge of the political elite.

The United States killed Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad last month, giving renewed impetus to Iran’s allies in Iraq to call for the withdrawal of US forces.

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