Spy chief named Iraq’s third PM-designate this year

BAGHDAD (HRNW) – Iraqi President Barham Saleh nominated spy chief Mustafa 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 foreuign operations unit since a US drone strike in Baghdad killed his predecessor Qasem Soleimani in January.

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