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Iran backs choice of new Iraq PM, top official says

THE LEVANT – Iran, a key ally of Iraq’s sidelined Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said Tuesday it backed the legal process which led to him being replaced, following the nomination of Haidar al-Abadi as premier.

The statement was the first official signal that Maliki no longer enjoys the support of his fellow Shiite leaders and politicians in Tehran to stay on as head of government in Baghdad.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary and representative of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, made the remarks at a meeting of Iranian ambassadors in Tehran, the Fars and Mehr news agencies said.

“The framework provided by the Iraqi constitution stipulates that the prime minister has been chosen by the majority group in the parliament,” Shamkhani said.

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