Iran hopes new Iraq cabi­net gets ‘oc­cu­piers’ out

The Pak Banker - - International -

TEHRAN: Iran expressed hope on Thurs­day that the new Iraqi govern­ment would help sta­bilise the war-torn coun­try and lead to the exit of the "oc­cu­piers," the ISNA news agency re­ported.

"The Is­lamic Re­pub­lic of Iran con­sid­ers the for­ma­tion of the new Iraq govern­ment an im­por­tant and pos­i­tive step for­ward in Iraq's devel­op­ment and hopes that this move leads to more sta­bil­ity, se­cu­rity and wel­fare of the Iraqi peo­ple," for­eign min­istry spokesman Ramin Mehman­parast was quoted as say­ing by ISNA.

Mehman­parast said that Tehran hopes that the for­ma­tion of the new govern­ment will lead to "com­plete in­de­pen­dence and exit of oc­cu­piers."

Iran has reg­u­larly called for US troops to leave Iraq, cit­ing their pres­ence as the main cause of vi­o­lence in its western neigh­bour.

The Iraqi par­lia­ment on Tues­day passed a vote of con­fi­dence in a na­tional unity govern­ment formed by premier Nuri al-Ma­liki af­ter more than nine months of po­lit­i­cal wran­gling fol­low­ing an in­con­clu­sive gen­eral elec­tion.

In mid-Novem­ber Tehran wel­comed Iraq's new pow­er­shar­ing pact, which re­turned Ma­liki, a Shi­ite, as premier, left Jalal Tal­a­bani, a Kurd, as pres­i­dent and a Sunni Arab, Osama al-Nu­jaifi, from ex-premier Iyad Allawi's Iraqiya bloc as par­lia­ment speaker.

The deal came af­ter an eight-month-long vac­uum of power ac­com­pa­nied by wor­ri­some out­breaks of vi­o­lence as Iraq's sec­tar­ian fac­tions strug­gled to form a govern­ment in the wake of March 7 elec­tions.

Iran and Sad­dam Hus­sein's Iraq fought a bloody eight-year war in the 1980s which left al­most a mil­lion peo­ple dead on both sides.

Ties be­tween pre­dom­i­nant- ly Shi­ite Iran and Shi­ite-ma­jor­ity Iraq have warmed con­sid­er­ably since the over­throw of Sad­dam's Sunni-dom­i­nated regime in a US-led in­va­sion in 2003.

Iraqi gen­eral gunned down: Gun­men with si­lenced weapons raked an army bri­gadier gen­eral's car with gun­fire in a Baghdad street, killing him and wound­ing his daugh­ter, de­fence and in­te­rior min­istry of­fi­cials said Thurs­day.

The at­tack took place Wed­nes­day night in the Man­sour district of the cap­i­tal, the of­fi­cials said.

They named the vic­tim as Gen­eral Imad Hasham of the army's sixth di­vi­sion.

In an­other at­tack Wed­nes­day evening, gun­men also with si­lenced weapons shot and wounded po­lice Lieu­tenant Colonel Majid Hamid as he was driv­ing through the Amiriya area of Baghdad, of­fi­cials said. -Afp

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