Iran Welcomes Election of Salih as Iraq’s New President

Barham Salih, the new president of Iraq (left), introducing Adil Abdul-Mahdi (right) as the country's prime minister-designate

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has hailed the Iraqi Parliament’s election of Barham Salih as the Arab country’s new president.

In a Tuesday statement, Bahram Qassemi welcomed the election and expressed hope that age-old, strong and brotherly relations between Tehran and Baghdad will further expand during Saleh’s tenure.

He also wished that the election would lead to more economic welfare for, and the strengthening of friendship between the two nations as well as the promotion of mutual cooperation at the regional and international level.

Iraqi lawmakers on Tuesday picked Salih as Iraq’s new president after a dispute between the two main Kurdish parties delayed the vote on Monday. The two largest Kurdish parties each put forward a candidate for lawmakers to choose.

Salih from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party was declared as the next president after he defeated Fuad Hussein from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) following two rounds of voting. Salih won a large majority in the second round.

The vote went to a second round where Hussein withdrew his candidacy twice which was rejected on both occasions. For the first time, the two largest Kurdish parties each put forward a candidate.

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