Iraqi prime minister to visit Iran next week – report

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi heads to Washington for a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, July 25, 2021. (PM office photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi will visit Iran next week, Iraqi media reported on Thursday.

Kadhimi accompanied by a high-level government delegation is expected to visit Tehran on Sunday to hold talks with senior officials, al-Baghdadia TV cited a source at the Iraqi foreign ministry as saying.

It’s still unclear what the Iraqi prime minister will discuss with the Iranian officials during his visit.

It will be Kadhimi’s first visit to Tehran since Ebrahim Raisi was sworn in as the country’s new president.

Reports of Kadhimi’s visit to Iran comes as Iraq is scheduled to hold early parliamentary elections on October 10, in response to the anti-government protests against corruption and lack of public services.

The previous parliamentary elections in Iraq were held on May 12, 2018, and the next elections were originally scheduled to take place in 2022.

In the most recent legislative election in 2018, the turnout was 44.52 percent, an official figure that many believe was inflated.

Calls to boycott the vote have increased as the election draws closer, especially among young people who accuse political parties in Iraq of covering up and even encouraging political violence.

An early general election was one of the promises made by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to try to meet the demands of the demonstrators.

A new electoral law also came into force last year, its aim being to break the monopoly held by blocs of parties that share power, and promote independent candidates instead.

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