Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'I love the Socialists'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukraine: Web users call for international assistance

Read more

WEB NEWS

France: Fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

South Africa: Four men found guilty of shooting Rwandan exile

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - August 29th, 2014

Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Armeli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Israel appropriates large tracts of West Bank land

    Read more

  • Rescue efforts under way after French apartment block blast

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

  • PSG trounce Saint-Etienne 5-0 with Ibrahimovic hat trick

    Read more

  • Tension rises in Hong Kong as Beijing rejects open elections

    Read more

  • French police stop 'teenage jihadist' from flying to Syria

    Read more

  • Kidnapped Yazidi women 'sold to Islamists' in Syria

    Read more

  • Confusion reigns after Lesotho 'coup'

    Read more

  • French PM vows to safeguard 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Inside Novoazovsk – the pro-Russians' latest conquest

    Read more

Iran backs Maliki as Iraq PM but open to change

AFP

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (centre) greets Nuri al-Maliki (left) in Tehran on December 5, 2013Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (centre) greets Nuri al-Maliki (left) in Tehran on December 5, 2013

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (centre) greets Nuri al-Maliki (left) in Tehran on December 5, 2013Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (centre) greets Nuri al-Maliki (left) in Tehran on December 5, 2013

Iran said Sunday it supports Nuri al-Maliki's bid to stay on as Iraq's premier but that it is ready to back any other candidate chosen by parliament in Baghdad.

Maliki's "State of Law coalition won first place in the last legislative elections... (and) any decision that is taken in Iraq and has the support of parliament has Iran's backing," said Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

"If Mr Maliki is chosen as prime minister, we will work hard together. If another person is chosen by parliament, the Islamic Republic of Iran will also support them. It's an internal affair for Iraq," he said.

The Iraqi parliament is to convene on Tuesday to elect a speaker, president and prime minister.

Maliki, a Shiite, has been prime minister since 2006 and last week vowed to "never give up on" his quest for a third term, despite critics blaming him for steering the Shiite-majority country towards all-out sectarian war.

Shiite-dominated Iran has said it is willing to provide Iraq advice and military assistance in the fight with Sunni insurgents who overran large chunks of Iraqi territory last month and have now declared an Islamic caliphate.

However, Iran's involvement in Iraq appears to be deepening, with the official IRNA news agency reporting on Saturday that an Iranian pilot had been killed while fighting to defend a Shiite shrine in the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad.

The report did not say whether the pilot was killed while flying sorties or fighting on the ground, but his death is thought to be Tehran's first such military casualty since the fightback against the militants began.

The Islamic State (IS) offensive, which led Iraqi troops to abandon their posts, has emboldened Kurdish leaders to press for independence of their autonomous northern region.

Tehran opposes a break up of Iraq, denouncing it as an Israeli plot.

"We will never allow (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu's dreams about the disintegration of Iraq and the region to come true," Amir-Abdollahian said on Sunday.

He added that Iran had warned Iraq's Kurdish leaders against separatism, saying it was "in nobody's interest".

Amir-Abdollahian also criticised the United States for doing "nothing concrete to fight against terrorism".

"At best, the behaviour of the United States over the past three weeks regarding Iraq has been suspect. We see no need to cooperate or have talks with the United States about Iraq," he said.

Turning to Tehran's regional rival Riyadh, he said the "role of Saudi Arabia in the events of the region, including Syria and Iraq, is not positive."

Date created : 2014-07-06