Iran Not Keen on Meddling in Iraqi Affairs

Iran Not Keen on Meddling in Iraqi Affairs Iran Not Keen on Meddling in Iraqi Affairs

Iran has no interest in interfering in Iraqi affairs, including the appointment of a prime minister and Cabinet, as the Arab nation can decide the political future of its own country, an Iranian diplomat said. 
“Selecting the prime minister and the political processes of Iraq are that country’s domestic affairs. They are a mature government and nation, and can make decisions for their future themselves,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a regular press conference on Monday, ISNA reported. 
He added that given Iran’s friendly relations with officials in Baghdad, it will offer consultation if asked for, but Tehran is not consulted about the nomination of a prime minister and Cabinet members, and has no interest in meddling either. 
Iraq’s premier, Adel Abdul Mahdi, resigned under pressure from anti-government protests in November, but continued to head the government as caretaker prime minister until Iraqi President Barham Salih could designate a new premier.
Salih’s first and second choice, Mohammed Allawi and Adnan al-Zurfi, withdrew as they failed to secure enough support to form a government. 
The Iraqi president on April 9 named intelligence chief, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, as his third designated prime minister in 10 weeks and he now has until May 30 to present his Cabinet lineup to the 329-member parliament for a vote of confidence.


Yemen’s Political Solution 

Asked about developments in Yemen, Mousavi said Iran welcomes any political agreement that would lead to a complete ceasefire in the war-torn country. 
Yemeni Houthi fighters have been fighting for five years with the Saudi-led coalition supporting the ousted president, Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi. 
The conflict has created one of the worst humanitarian crises of the century, displacing millions of people and driving the Arab country to the verge of famine. 
In early April, the Saudi-led coalition said it was halting military operations nationwide in support of United Nations’ efforts to end the Yemen war, but continued its airstrikes. 
Mousavi said the solution appears to be political rather than military and Iran believes that the crisis could be resolved if the coalition were to act in good faith. 
“We have not so far seen any good faith in Saudis and the coalition they lead … They even did not observe their unilateral ceasefire and attacked Yemenis several times,” he said.
Iran advocated intra-Yemeni talks as a solution to the current war and has submitted a four-point plan to the UN, which calls for an immediate ceasefire and end of all foreign military attacks plus the resumption of broad national dialogue.


Afghan Dispute 

Mousavi also referred to the political conflicts in Afghanistan, saying Iran is in close contact with Afghan officials to help address the differences. 
“As a neighboring and friendly country, Iran is trying to help the Afghan nation to address the current conflict and pave the way for the return of peace to this country,” he said. 
Afghanistan has been facing a political crisis since last fall’s disputed presidential election. Both Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the previous incumbent, and his rival Abdullah Abdullah claim to have won the election. They have held their own ceremonies and formed parallel governments.
“We hope that an inclusive government will be established in Afghanistan and this will lead to intra-Afghan negotiations … Iran feels responsible for doing all in its power in this regard,” the diplomat said. 
The Taliban insurgents ousted by the United States in 2001 still control large territories of the country. 
The US is now trying to broker peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, but the conflict has delayed the process. 
“The Taliban, as a major group, can participate in Afghanistan’s political processes without the intervention of foreigners,” Mousavi said. 

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