Iran hails Iraq parliament selections

Iraqi lawmakers are seen during the first session of the new Iraqi parliament in Baghdad, Iraq September 3, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 16 September 2018
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Iran hails Iraq parliament selections

  • Iran is a key power broker in neighboring Iraq and many of the militias that played a central role in ousting Daesh are known to be close to Tehran
  • Iraq’s national politics has been in paralysis since the May 12 national elections

TEHRAN: Iran on Sunday hailed the selections made by Iraq’s parliament a day after the body elected candidates backed by a pro-Tehran bloc as speaker and first deputy.
“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 neighboring Iraq and many of the militias that played a central role in ousting Daesh are known to be close to Tehran.
Iraq’s national politics has been in paralysis since the May 12 national elections, but Saturday’s appointments were expected to solidify new alliances and pave the way toward forming a government.
“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 Shiite 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 fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the rise of Iraq’s Shiite majority on the political landscape.


Putin and Erdogan in Turkey to mark key phase in pipeline

Updated 56 min 13 sec ago
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Putin and Erdogan in Turkey to mark key phase in pipeline

  • The two leaders are marking the completion of the offshore part of TurkStream’s two lines
  • Turkey relies on imports for its energy needs and Russia is its top supplier for natural gas

ISTANBUL: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are in Istanbul to mark the completion of a key phase in a natural gas pipeline.
The two leaders on Monday are marking the completion of the offshore part of TurkStream’s two lines that will carry natural gas from Russia to Turkey.
The lines when finished are expected to supply Russian gas to European markets through Turkish territories. Together the two 930-kilometer (578-mile) lines via the Black Sea will carry 31.5 billion cubic meters (1.1 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas annually.
Turkey relies on imports for its energy needs and Russia is its top supplier for natural gas. It bought 28 billion cubic meters last year. That gas is currently transported through another line under the Black Sea and the onshore West Line through Ukraine, which is mired in conflict with Russia.