Iran welcomes Iraq government deal

November 13, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Iran has congratulated Iraqi politicians who have agreed to form a new government.

The Iraqi parliament on Thursday elected Osama al-Nujaifi as parliament speaker, reelected Jalal Talabani as president and re-nominated Nuri al-Maliki to form a new cabinet.
“Since last night Iranian officials telephoned and congratulated certain Iraqi figures and the (congratulation) messages will be officially issued today and tomorrow,” the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad, Hassan Danaeefar, told the Mehr News Agency on Friday.
A pact on top government posts reached late on Wednesday brought together Shias, Sunnis and Kurds in a power-sharing arrangement similar to the last Iraqi government.
In its first steps to implement the deal, parliament met for only the second time since an inconclusive March election, electing Talabani, a Kurd, as president and Iraqiya lawmaker Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni, as speaker.
Pointing to Thursday’s Iraqi parliament session, Danaeefar said Osama al-Nujaifi was approved as Parliament speaker with 227 votes out of 295 votes cast, Qusay Al-Suhail of the Al-Sadr movement and Aref Tayfour of Iraqi Kurds were also elected as the first and second deputy speakers respectively.
“Iraqis, based on their internal resolve, have done a great job and not also Iran will support such a move but it will also back it,” Danaeefar stated.
The ambassador went on to say that when the voting was held for the reelection of President Talabani, al-Nujaifi, who had left the session, came back and Talabani secured 195 votes.
About two-thirds of Iraqiya's 91 lawmakers, including Allawi, walked out before the start of the vote for president, saying they were angry that agreements between alliance leaders were not being honored.
President Talibani asked Nouri al-Maliki, the incumbent premier, to introduce his cabinet members within one month.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Danaeefar said that such important achievement has broken the 8-month impasse in Iraq; however, he said some disputes still remain unresolved.
Celebratory gunfire rang out in the streets of Baghdad as news of the new Iraqi government broke out, Reuters reported.
“Today is the day of victory. The victory of the true Iraqi will,” reelected President Jalal Talabani told parliament.
Strategic policymaking council
Danaeefar went on to say that a “strategic policymaking council” has been established in Iraq which will include security, military, defense and economy officials. He said the council will determine the major policies in Iraq.
The council is going to be headed by Ayad Allawi whose al-Iraqiya bloc secured 91 seats in the March parliamentary elections.
All decisions in the council must be approved by at least 80 percent of the members, he noted.
Iraqi officials snub U.S.
The Iranian ambassador said that a number of U.S. delegations have held meetings with Iraqi officials and made some requests, which were rejected by the Iraqi authorities.
Arab League welcomes new developments
The Arab League Secretary General Amr Mousa has expressed satisfaction over the new developments in Iraq and the agreements reached between the Iraqi political groups.
He said such developments would help Iraq move forward.
The agreements in Iraq should be considered as a special development, since these agreements were made months after the election was held in the country, Mousa stated.
He also said he has been invited by the top Iraqi officials and that he will travel to Iraq in the near future.
(From R-L) Iyad Allawi, head of the Iraqiya coalition, Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's President Jalal Talabani, and Kurdish President Masoud Barzani are seen at a parliament session in Baghdad, November 11, 2010. Reuters Pictur