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

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.


US ambassador says ready to solve Safer tanker crisis

Updated 20 min 50 sec ago

US ambassador says ready to solve Safer tanker crisis

  • The United States is keen on helping to resolve the oil tanker crisis

RIYADH: The US ambassador to Yemen said Washington is ready to help in solving the crisis of an abandoned oil tanker off Yemen’s coast at risk of exploding. 

Ambassador Christopher Hensel stressed that the United States is keen on helping to resolve the crisis given that it poses a threat.

He also expressed his appreciation to the efforts by the Yemeni government to reach stability in the region, in remarks during a meeting with the Yemeni foriegn minister.  

With 1.1 million barrels of crude on board, the FSO Safer tanker is deteriorating badly and could rupture at any time, with disastrous results for Red Sea marine life, UN and other experts have warned.
The 45-year-old ship is anchored off the port of Hodeidah under the control of the Iran-backed Houthi militia, which initially blocked UN efforts to send a team of experts to assess its condition. Sources on Sunday said the Houthis gave the UN inspectors the green light to inspect the decaying tanker.