On Sunday, Iran offered its full support for new Iraqi prime minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi and reiterated its support to the government’s demand for U.S. forces to leave the country. Last month, Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani was killed by the United States in a drone strike in Baghdad. The incident gave renewed impetus to Iran’s allies in Iraq to call for the withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Tawfiq Allawi was designated as Iraq’s prime minister on Saturday after two months of political deadlock. Iran maintains a strong bonding with many Shi’ite political parties and militias in Iraq. It also has deep ties with the Kurdish parties from the north. Iran has always tried to use their influence to keep a government sympathetic to its interests in power in Baghdad.
“In continuing support for the independence, national sovereignty, territorial integrity and strengthening the foundations of democracy in Iraq along with the legitimate request by the government and people of Iraq for the exit of American forces from the soil of that country, Iran welcomes the selection of Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi as the new prime minister of this country,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
Iran is ready to provide any kind of aid essential for Iraq to overcome problems and to pass through a sensitive time, said Mousavi. Hours after his appointment, Allawi appealed to Iraquis for their support, but the protesters called him Iran’s choice and forced him to step down.
Allawi replaces Adel-Mahdi, who resigned at the end of last year after the country’s top cleric criticized him for his handling of popular agitation that erupted in October. As per reports by the Iraqi Human Rights Commission, more than 500 people died in four months due to forceful response by security forces.