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Iran Interferes in Iraq to Form ‘Largest Bloc’

Iran Interferes in Iraq to Form ‘Largest Bloc’

Tuesday, 12 June, 2018 - 06:00
The Iraqi interior minister has said that a fire which ripped through the country's biggest ballot warehouse ahead of a vote recount was 'deliberate.” AFP
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
Iran’s efforts to interfere in Iraq’s political affairs appeared against Monday after reports that Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Quds Force, made attempts to unite Tehran’s allies ahead of the formation of the biggest parliamentary bloc in Iraq which would be responsible for forming the new government.

On a Suhoor meal held at the residence of Iraqi Vice President Nuri al-Maliki, Soleimani met with a number of Shi’ite bloc leaders, particularly those from Maliki's State of Law coalition and Hadi al-Amiri's Fateh (Conquest) Coalition, informed sources said.

The Iranian general also met with Deputy Commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandes.

However, the same sources said that representatives from the other three Shi’ite blocs - the Sairoon alliance of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the Nasr (Victory) Alliance of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the National Hikma or Wisdom Movement of Ammar al-Hakim – were not present during the Suhoor meeting.

Meanwhile, Iraqi officials continued to react to an incident in which a fire tore that through one of the Iraqi electoral commission’s storehouses in Baghdad’ Rasafa area where ballots cast in the May 12 election were being held.

Qahtan al-Jubouri, former Iraqi Tourism Minister and official spokesman of the Sairoon Alliance told Asharq Al-Awsat that burning election warehouses portrays a wrong image of the situation in Iraq. “All parties need to be up to the level of responsibility and should not resort to any unjustifiable escalatory measures,” he said.

The spokesman added that despite reports about violations committed during the elections, the voting process was a successful experience.

Meanwhile, Abadi’s spokesman said the PM rejects calls for an election re-run saying Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court is the only entity that has the right to decide on that issue.

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