Iraq

Iraqi parties require PM-designate to end US-led military presence: MP

An Iraqi parliamentarian says the country’s political parties have conditioned approving Prime Minister-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s cabinet on his acting on a law approved by the parliament that mandates evacuation of US-led forces.

Sa’ad al-Sa’adi, a senior member of the Fatah (Conquest) parliamentary coalition, made the remarks to the Baghdad Today news website on Tuesday.

The legislature ratified the law in early January, only days after the United States carried out an unauthorized drone attack, assassinating Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of the Popular Mobilization Units, or Hashd al-Sha’abi anti-terror force, and a number of others.

The attack came while General Soleimani was on an official trip in the Iraqi capital at Baghdad’s request.

The assassinations were followed by thousands-strong funeral processions and protests across both Iran and Iraq in honor of the commanders and condemnation of the US’s nearly two decades of deadly interference in the region.

On April 9, Iraqi President Barham Salih tasked Mustafa al-Kadhimi, director of the country’s National Intelligence Service, with forming a new government in a month. The presidential ceremony was attended by several high-ranking politicians and public figures, something that was interpreted as Kadhimi’s across-the-board popularity with Iraq’s political groupings.

He was the third person to be nominated for the office in 10 weeks after his predecessors Adnan al-Zurfi and Mohammed Allawi withdrew their bids failing to secure the legislature’s support in their task of forming a government.

Al-Sa’adi said, “Now that Mustafa al-Kadhimi has secured the parliament’s vote of confidence [that enabled his nomination as the premier], one of his most important duties is to implement the law ratified by the parliament, based on which all foreign forces should be evacuated from Iraq.”

The condition is one of the most important ones that al-Kadhimi has been committed to implement, al-Sa’adi noted, adding “he has consented to [implementing] this condition.”

Al-Sa’adi called the result of the parliamentary vote binding, saying it could not be defied by any premier, and has to be put into force, especially in light of the far-and-wide popular support that it has received ever since ratification.

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