Iraq’s designated prime minister vows to control arms, fight corruption

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Iraq’s designated prime minister Mustafa Al- Kadhemi said on Thursday that arms should only be in government’s hands.

The designated PM, who was named by President Barham Salih earlier on Thursday also said in a televised speech the key objectives for his government will be to fight corruption and return displaced people back home.

Iraqi President Saleh nominated spy chief Kadhemi on Thursday as the country’s third prime minister-designate this year, moments after predecessor Adnan Zurfi ended his bid to form a government.

The nomination ceremony was attended by the country’s top political figures, indicating widespread support for Kadhemi, 53, that neither of the previous PM-designates had enjoyed.

That backing was the result of a flurry of political meetings over the past week aimed at reaching consensus over Kadhemi, the head of Iraq’s National Intelligence Service.

Among them were gatherings attended by Iranian General Ismail Qaani, who has headed Iran’s powerful Quds Force foreign operations unit since a US drone strike in Baghdad killed his predecessor Qasem Soleimani in January.

Tehran holds vast political and military influence in Iraq, and its approval is seen as necessary for any prime ministerial candidate.

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