Iran welcomes Allawi nomination as Iraq’s PM-designate

Along with dealing with critical domestic issues, PM-designate Allawi would also be burdened with balancing Iraq’s ties with divided interests, internally and internationally.
author_image Kurdistan 24

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) ­– Tehran welcomes the appointment of Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi as Iraq’s prime minister-designate, Iranian media quoted the foreign ministry as saying.

Iraqi President Barham Salih commissioned former communication minister Allawi to form the new government close to two months after Adil Abdul Mahdi turned in his resignation. Abdul Mahdi stepped down amid a security forces-led deadly crackdown of widespread anti-government demonstrations.

According to the state-run IRNA news agency, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said Tehran welcomed Allawi’s nomination for the premiership and expressed his country’s continued support for 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,” Mousavi said.

The Iraqi parliament voted in early January to oust American forces from Iraqi territory after the US carried out two separate aerial operations on Iraqi soil that killed at least 25 Iranian-backed militiamen, Iran’s former Quds Force head Qasim Soleimani, and top Iraqi militia commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

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The operations came in response to successive attacks on US troops over the past few years amid heightened US-Iran tensions. One missile attack in late December killed a US civilian contractor. Days following this, members of Iranian-backed militia groups torched parts of the US embassy as they stormed the compound.

No Kurdish and few Sunni lawmakers attended the parliamentary session where the resolution was passed, appearing to walk across the political tightrope between voting with Tehran-backed Iraqi parties for the US troops’ expulsion and angering the anti-American factions by voting against them.

Allawi has one month to form his cabinet, at which point the national parliament would hold a vote to approve him and his picks to lead a new government. He would act as interim prime minister and plan early legislative elections, a popular demand of the protesters, among others.

Allawi would also be burdened with balancing Iraq’s ties with divided interests, internally and internationally.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany