News / Middle East

Iraqi PM Visits Iran to Bolster Candidacy

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, left, speaks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, during their meeting in Tehran, Iran. Iran gave its clearest nod of support to Iraq's prime minister Monday as he seeks to line up backing from key neigh
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, left, speaks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, during their meeting in Tehran, Iran. Iran gave its clearest nod of support to Iraq's prime minister Monday as he seeks to line up backing from key neigh

Multimedia

Audio
  • Middle East Institute Scholar Charles Dunne on Iraqi prime minister's bid to stay in power

Iraq's outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has been meeting with Iranian leaders in Tehran, after visits to both Jordan and Syria during the past week.

Mr. Maliki met with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during his visit to Tehran, in an audience that was broadcast on Iraqi and Iranian state television.

Iranian TV reported the Ayatollah told Mr. Maliki it is imperative to "form a government as soon as possible and to reinforce security," so as to "rebuild and strengthen the country."

Many analysts believe Mr. Maliki was seeking the Ayatollah's blessing to head the next Iraqi government, and the lengthy meeting between the two men reinforced the perception that he had succeeded.

Iranian leaders appeared to spare no effort in offering Mr. Maliki the image of a statesman.  An honor guard welcomed him at the presidential palace where he met both President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Vice President Rahimi.  He was due to visit the holy city of Qom to meet top religious dignitaries, as well.

Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al Bolani also met with the head of Iran's National Security Council Saeed Jalili, insisting that both countries intend to step up cooperation:

He says that during his meetings, Iraq proposed the formation of a joint committee with Iran that would include officials from border provinces on both sides to discuss mutual problems of trade, tourism, terrorism and crime.

Mr. Maliki's chief rival in the seven-month battle to form the next Iraqi government, former prime minister Iyad Allawi, obliquely criticized the Tehran visit.  He told al-Arabiya TV Sunday he would "not be begging Iran to agree to his nomination."

Carnegie Endowment Iraq expert Marina Ottaway says Mr. Maliki has been seeking Iranian help in gaining support from other Shi'ite parties.

"He is trying to get Iran to put more pressure on the other Shia parties.  Let me point out that Iran has been completely unsuccessful in doing so in the past.  Iran has been trying to put pressure on all the Shia factions to come together from before the election, and they have not succeeded," Ottaway said.

Ottoway adds that it is still not clear what Iran's position is toward former prime minister Allawi, since many Shi'ite partie insist he be part of any coalition government.

Video clip - Iraqi PM arriving:

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid