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Iran 1, US 0: Iraq chooses a parliament speaker

After a long delay, the Iraqi parliament has finally elected its speaker and in doing so confirmed the rising influence of Iran.
A picture taken on September 3, 2018 shows a general view of the Iraqi parliament during a meeting in the capital Baghdad. - Iraq's parliament convened today with a populist cleric who triumphed in May elections allying with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to try to form a government and sideline pro-Iran rivals. (Photo by SABAH ARAR / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq’s parliament elected Mohammed al-Halbusi as its new speaker on Sept. 15, opening the door for the formation of a new government following months of political uncertainty. Efforts to establish a government stalled following the May 12 parliamentary elections, as the major winning parties have been unable to agree on a coalition to form the new government.

Lawmakers also elected Hassan Karim al-Kaabi as Halbusi’s first deputy on the same day, followed by the election of Bashir al-Haddad as second deputy on Sept. 16.

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