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Abadi: We Will Not Risk Our People’s Interests to Satisfy Iran

Abadi: We Will Not Risk Our People’s Interests to Satisfy Iran

Monday, 3 September, 2018 - 06:30
An Iraqi man walks past burning tires as protesters block the main road between the centre of the southern city of Basra leading towards Karmat Ali on its northern outskirts, near the University of Basra on September 2, 2018. Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
Tension between Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the Iranian government rose on Sunday amid the announcement of the “biggest bloc” in Iraq ahead of naming the next Premier.

“We will not risk the interests of our people to satisfy Iran or any other country,” Abadi told reporters in Baghdad.

Since the parliamentary elections held last May, Abadi's relations with Iran and its allies in Iraq have been tense.

Last month, Abadi announced his commitment to the financial sanctions imposed by the US on Iran, and last week, he dismissed Falih Alfayyadh, the head of the Popular Mobilization Commission and the Iraqi national security adviser.

Abadi issued the decision after Alfayyadh was seen as a figure suitable to become the next prime minister.

A day after he was fired, some members of Abadi’s Nasr alliance named Alfayyadh as their nominee for the premiership.

“Alfayyadh does not represent the Nasr Coalition. I will sue him if he speaks in the name of the Nasr,” said Abadi.

Meanwhile, the head of the Sairoon bloc Moqtada Al-Sadr has formed the biggest bloc in Iraq’s parliament after months of stalled negotiations.

The announcement came ahead of the first session of the Iraqi parliament on Monday to elect a new Speaker and where the largest bloc must be registered to form the next cabinet.

Sadr’s parliamentary bloc consists of 162 deputies from 11 political groups, mainly from the Sairoon, the Nasr, the Hikma, the Wattiniya and other small blocs.

Meanwhile, protests have resumed in the southern Iraqi province of Basra against local authorities over the lack of basic services.

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