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Iran praises Iraq for passing law against normalisation with Israel

May 30, 2022 at 1:57 pm

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on 12 May 2022 [IRANIAN PRESIDENCY/Anadolu Agency]

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has praised Iraq’s parliament for passing a law that criminalises normalising relations with Israel, including business ties.

According to the Tasnim News Agency, in a telephone conversation yesterday with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, Raisi was quoted as saying: “The passing of the law to forbid the normalisation of relations with the Zionist regime in the Iraqi parliament was a right move.”

Al-Kadhimi said: “Palestine is not just an issue for Muslims, but for all justice-seeking people in the world, and the Iraqi government and parliament have also take a series of decisions and actions in support of the Palestinian people.”

Earlier this month the draft bill “Banning Normalisation and Establishment of Relations with the Zionist Entity” was submitted by the Sadrist bloc, the largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament, led by the influential Shia cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr who announced his intention to introduce the bill last month.

Israel has condemned Baghdad for approving the law, with the spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Lior Haiat, stating on Twitter: “This is a law that puts Iraq and the Iraqi people on the wrong side of history and disconnected from reality.”

READ: Algeria lawmakers seek to criminalise normalisation with Israel

Palestinian and Lebanese resistance factions lauded Iraq’s parliament. Following the first reading of the draft bill, a statement issued by Hamas said: “The decision expresses the authenticity of the Iraqi people and their well-known positions throughout history in support of the Palestinian people and their just national cause.”

It went on last week to call on all Arab and Islamic parliaments “to follow suit”, describing the decision as “supportive to our people and their legitimate right to fight for their land.”

On Friday, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine described the passing of the new law as a “historic and decisive” move, while Islamic Jihad said the resolution will prevent the enemy from trying to infiltrate Arab capitals further through normalisation.

In a separate statement, Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement said the “honourable and courageous stance” shows “Iraq’s firm and permanent position alongside the Palestinian cause, which was affected by neither the American occupation nor the difficult economic and political conditions that Iraq has experienced in recent years.”

While Iraq has never recognised the state of Israel since its inception in 1948, the new legislation goes further by criminalising any attempts to normalise relations with Israel. The law comes amid normalisation between Israel and some western-aligned Arab states including the UAEBahrainSudan and Morocco who established diplomatic ties in 2020 along with Egypt and Jordan who made peace with Israel in 1979 and 1994, respectively. There is also growing speculation that Saudi Arabia will follow suit by establishing full normalisation with Tel Aviv.

OPINION: Iraq banning ties with Israel, demonstrates only Iran-aligned Arab states oppose Zionism