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.


Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in border clashes: Gaza ministry

Updated 24 September 2018
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Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in border clashes: Gaza ministry

GAZA CITY: Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian in fresh clashes on the Gaza border Sunday, the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said.
Imad Ishtawi, 21, was shot in the head, the ministry said, as Palestinians again gathered along the border east of Gaza City late Sunday in the latest in months of often violent demonstrations.
The strip’s rulers Hamas had been rumored to be seeking a lasting truce with Israel but the indirect talks have seemingly stalled, with protests subsequently increasing in number.
In recent weeks the demonstrations, which typically involve burning tires and throwing stones, have also taken place at night, though with far smaller numbers than the regular Friday daytime gatherings.
At least 186 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests began on March 30.
One Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.
Israel has maintained a crippling blockade of Gaza for more than a decade it says is necessary to isolate Hamas.