Turkmen president for all-out ties with Iran
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow has called for expansion of all-out ties with Iran.
In a meeting with Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan in Ashgabat on Tuesday, the Turkmen president hailed Iran’s achievements and progress in all fields especially in the defense sector, ISNA reported.
Dehqan expressed his country’s readiness to further boost cooperation in security and defense areas.
He said defense cooperation reinforces peace and security in the region and the world.
Tehran is ready to share its experience in all fields including the fight against terrorism and campaign against drug-trafficking with Ashgabat, the minister added.
Iranian armed forces’ deterrent power
Addressing Turkmen cadets in the Turkmen capital on Tuesday, the defense minister said Iran now has the highest level of military deterrence, while it is fully prepared to confront any possible enemy threat and aggression.
“In our country we believe that we should have such a power that the enemies never look at Iran with avarice and intimidation,” Dehqan said.
“Iran’s national security doctrine is based on effective defense and deterrence and it is not based on any aggressive view,” he added.
Dehqan elaborated on the capabilities and training capacities of Iran’s Armed Forces, and underlined that cooperation in training skilled forces between Iran and Turkmenistan can pave the way for long-term cooperation in other fields.
Speaking in a meeting with Turkmen counterpart, Begench Gundogdiev, Dehqan called for concerted effort among the Caspian Sea littoral states to uphold the security and stability of the region.
He described the Caspian Sea as the “sea of peace and friendship” and said, “The littoral states should maintain the peace, security and stability of the sea through synergy, good neighborliness and confidence building.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the security and progress of regional countries, particularly the neighboring countries, as its own,” Dehqan pointed out.
Dehqan arrived in Turkmenistan on Monday at the invitation of Turkmen defense minister.
This is the first visit by an Iranian defense minister to Turkmenistan since its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.
The visit comes on the heels of the Friday meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Turkmen counterpart, in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit.
Elsewhere in the meeting, Dehqan pointed to Israel’s war crimes during its recent deadly 50-day war on Gaza and called for a collective effort by all Muslim countries to prevent such inhumane atrocities.
Gundogdiev, for his part, praised Iran’s remarkable achievements in defense technology and called for the promotion of the two countries’ security-defense ties.
The two sides also underscored the need to counter violence and extremism.
Queiroz extends Iran contract – at last
Carlos Queiroz finally renewed his contract with Iran Football Federation Tuesday for four years after controversial debates over his performance and terms and conditions.
The 61-year-old, an assistant to former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, instilled discipline into the Iranian team that proved a tough opponent in World Cup Group F, holding Nigeria and blocking the tournament runner-up Argentina until stoppage time when Lionel Messi’s solo effort gave the South American side a 1-0 win.
Before signing a contract the Portuguese coach said, “I will do my best to make Iranians proud. I want to thank the president of Iran Football Federation. Ali Kaffashian. for trusting me.”
Iran is gearing up to show a good performance in the upcoming Asian Cup in Australia. The 22-day 16th edition of the continental showpiece will kick off on January 9. The three-time Asian champion is in Group C along with the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain. Iran will array against Bahrain in opener at Melbourne’s Rectangular Stadium on January 11.
Recalling his side’s preparation before the World Cup Queiroz said, “We had good training and performance. We have to improve ourselves to get good results in the Asian Cup. Another target is to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and advance to its next round.”
Kaffashian said, “Our prime target is to book a spot in the World Cup finals and gain a good result in the Asian Cup.”
European firms vie for Iranian gas project
Several European states have entered into negotiations with Iran to invest in a pipeline construction project to import gas from the energy-rich country, a senior energy official announced on Tuesday.
Managing Director of Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company Alireza Gharibi also told Fars News Agency on Tuesday that some European companies are expected to send proposals on financing this project.
Iran plans to construct its ninth cross-country gas pipeline to export gas to Turkey and from there to Europe.
In June 2010, the special representatives of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had approved the construction of a 1,850-kilometer pipeline for the direct export of Iran’s gas with an investment of over €1.3 billion.
The capacity for transferring natural gas via the ninth pipeline is about 110 million cubic meters (mcm), which is planned to be constructed in four sections: Assalouyeh-Ahvaz with a length of 605 kilometers, Ahvaz-Kermanshah with 461 km, Kermanshah-Miyandoab with 348 km and Miyandoab-Bazargan with 436 km.
The pipeline’s construction will take three years to complete.
Also in June, informed sources revealed that three European countries filed requests to purchase gas from Iran.
Informed sources told Fars News Agency that Switzerland had recently approached the Iranian Oil Ministry officials for starting negotiations about importing gas.
Also, Greece had indirectly called for Iran’s gas exports since the European country’s officials believed that Iran could transfer its gas to Greece through Turkey and then to other countries across the Europe.
Other countries which have entered direct gas talks with Iran include Germany (a member of the world powers negotiating with Tehran over its nuclear program), Poland, Japan, Austria, Oman, Turkey and Iraq.
According to the sources, the European and other countries’ officials and analysts believe that Iran is the safest supplier of energy in the world.
Earlier this month, Managin Director of the National Iranian Gas Company Hamid Reza Araqi said that several European states had negotiated with Iran to assess the conditions for importing gas from the country as an alternative for their Russian supplies. “The European countries are negotiating with us and tasting the conditions in a bid to have an alternative for supplying gas,” Araqi said.
He noted that European countries are willing to import gas from Iran in order to get rid of their strong dependence on Russia’s gas.
Araqi noted that all gas consumers are looking for alternate gas suppliers and all exporters are also considering ways for exporting their gas, including pipeline and LNG, implying that the same supply-and-demand strategy increases the chance for the start of Iran’s gas supply to Europe in the near future.
In July, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Ali Majedi announced that the Iranian oil ministry has large-scale programs underway to export natural Gas to European nations.
“We have macro-scale plans to supply gas to Europe,” Majedi said.
He noted that Europeans have shown deep interest in importing Iran’s gas in a bid to relieve themselves from Russia’s monopoly over supplies to Europe.
Iran sits atop the world’s largest gas reserves. Iran is currently producing more than 700 mcm/d of sour gas which is fed into petrochemical plants, power plants, domestic industries, oil wells and households. A portion of this production is exported.
Rouhani: Anti-ISIL coalition mere ‘farce’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani cast doubt on the sincerity of the so-called coalition to fight terrorism, saying it is a ‘farce’ that the countries which have supported and financed militant groups now seek to fight terrorism.
“It is a farce that the countries which trained, equipped and financed terrorist groups now suddenly seek to fight these terrorist groups,” Rouhani said in a meeting with Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Miroslav Lajcak in Tehran on Monday, Press TV reported.
Rouhani expressed concern about growing terrorism in the Middle East, including Syria and Iraq, and called on all countries to adopt a unified approach to uproot terrorism.
The Slovak official, for his part, called for consultations between Bratislava and Tehran on serious security issues in the world to seek a way out of the problems.
Slovakia supports Iran’s status as a regional and international player, he said, noting all countries, particularly Iran, should use their potentials in the campaign against terrorism.
Paris hosted a conference, dubbed the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq, on Monday to discuss ways of tackling the ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria amid US efforts to form a so-called international coalition to battle the Takfiri group.
Foreign ministers from the main European states, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Iraq’s neighbors and Arab states of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE attended the one-day conference.
Despite the international community’s stress on the importance of Iran’s role in regional developments, Tehran was not invited to the meeting in Paris mainly due to US opposition. The US has also announced that Iran will not be a part of its so-called coalition against the ISIL.
Meeting with N. Korea FM
On Tuesday, Iranian president in a meeting with visiting North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong in Tehran emphasized the importance of expansion of relations between Iran and East Asia.
The president said the two countries have had friendly relations, and hoped that the relations will be expanded in several areas including economy and trade.
Iran urges greater EU role in nuclear talks
Zarif leaves Tehran for New York
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on the European Union to play a more active role to conclude a final deal over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
Iran expects the EU to play a more active role in the talks between Tehran and the P5+1 so that the negotiations would bear fruit, Zarif said while receiving the credentials of Italy’s new ambassador to Iran, Mauro Conciatori, on Monday.
Zarif also described Iran-Italy ties as deep-rooted and called for further expansion of ties in all areas.
He further hoped that Italy, which currently holds the EU rotating presidency, would play a more active and positive role in the development of Iran-EU ties.
The Italian envoy, for his part, welcomed the promotion of ties between Rome and Tehran.
Zarif left Tehran early Tuesday for New York to take part in the fresh round of negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
A working lunch is expected on Wednesday between Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is leading the team from the six world powers in talks with Tehran.
Bilateral meetings are also planned between Iran and the members of the P5+1 group of countries on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.
P5+1 FMs, Zarif may meet
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said foreign ministers of the P5+1 group may meet on the sidelines of the forthcoming UN General Assembly in New York, Ryabkov told RIA Novosti in an interview on Tuesday.
“It is possible that a meeting of the P5+1 ministers with the Iranian foreign minister will be needed. There are reasons for contacts in this format,” Ryabkov said.
He said the ministerial meeting depended on the new round of nuclear negotiations between political directors of Iran and the P5+1.
“I think that if the meeting starts to produce some results, then a full-format ‘six plus one’ meeting with Iran will take place,” he said.
“The New York negotiations could be a watershed moment, if you ask me, a certain frontier, after which specific agreements will be reached promptly. Let’s hope for this. Necessary preconditions for it have been created,” Ryabkov said.
International mediators and Iran have to demonstrate maximum political will and focus on the result during the talks in New York, the Russian deputy foreign minister underlined.
The seventh round of talks between Iran and the P5+1—Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany—which aim to narrow the remaining gaps and finalize a nuclear deal between the two sides, will officially begin on Thursday. The new round of negotiations will be held on the sidelines of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and the Iranian foreign minister is scheduled to attend the UN meeting.
On Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi said Iran hopes for a final agreement before November 25 provided the other parties involved in nuclear negotiations are frank and flexible enough.
He made the remarks in a meeting with the Secretary of State at the Swiss Foreign Ministry Yves Rossier in Bern.
Meanwhile, China called on all relevant parties to negotiations over Iran’s nuclear energy program to adopt a ‘flexible and pragmatic’ policy to accelerate the conclusion of a comprehensive deal.
“We hope that all the parties adopt a flexible and practical attitude, meet each other half way, and eventually reach a fair, balanced, mutually beneficial and win-win comprehensive agreement,” said Wang Min, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN.
Key factors for tourism success
By Farzaneh Shokri & Farzam Vanaki
Aviation is the safest mode of transportation in the world. In the year ending March 20, 2014, more than 53 percent of world tourism transportations pertained to aviation sector, 5 percent to sea, 40 percent to roads and 2 percent to railroads.
However, one of the most important challenges facing Iran’s tourism industry concerns the country’s aging means of transportation, particularly airplanes. Given the country’s current aviation capacities, the government most probably will not be able to achieve the targets set by the 2025 Vision plan.
The plan calls for acquiring a 1.5-percent share of the international tourism market (at least 20 million tourists per year) and earning $20 billion per annum (2 percent of the global tourism revenues).
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Ali Rahimpour, a member of the scientific board of the Research Institute of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, listed some of these challenges and elaborated on solutions. Rahimpour maintains that employing modern technologies and improving transportation system, especially air fleet, play a crucial role in developing the country’s tourism industry.
Excerpts of the interview follow:
IRAN DAILY: One of the main challenges facing the country’s tourism sector pertains to the aging means of transportation. To what extent do you think modern technologies will help the industry boom?
ALI RAHIMPOUR: Factors such as tourist accommodations, entertainment, transportation and shopping facilities are required for developing tourism industry in any country.
Unfortunately, Iran’s air fleet is old and dilapidated, which adds to the worries of foreign tourists interested in visiting the country.
Officials should take effective measures in this respect. In case, they do not prepare the ground in this regard, the government will not be able to achieve the targets set by its tourism plan.
Recently, you warned about the negative impacts of the fatal crash of Iran-140 airplane on public opinion about Iran’s tourism industry. You said the government should make comprehensive efforts to make Iran’s tourist attractions known internationally.
The Western sanctions targeting Iran’s aircraft industry are unfair and contravene international humanitarian laws.
After these unfortunate accidents, the related officials and organizations should bolster the image of the country’s aircraft industry by implementing an effective crisis management.
The government is required to focus attention on the negative impact of sanctions imposed on Iran’s aviation industry.
What strategies and solutions do you propose after such accidents?
The international community found out that a plane had crashed in Iran due to technical defects. Now shouldn’t we clear the mess after the news is broadcast?
Iranian ambassadors and cultural attaches in other countries are required to do their best to reduce the adverse repercussions of the accident in international arenas.
Earlier, you said removing unnecessary aviation regulations and restrictions is among the most effective strategies to develop tourism industry. Could you please elaborate?
One of the effective techniques in boosting tourism industry is to get rid of unnecessary regulations and restrictions. Foreign airlines will not increase flights to our country, unless they can enter and exit Iran’s air space easily.
To develop the country’s tourism industry, modification of these regulations and removal of these restrictions are inevitable.
You believe addressing the shopping needs of tourists is one of the factors for improving tourism industry. How do you assess the Iranian situation in this regard?
Markets and shopping centers play an effective role in developing tourism industry. Developed countries publicize attractive markets and shopping centers to attract a large number of tourists.
Some tourists travel for the sake of shopping and only go to places that provide them with excellent shopping facilities. Sometimes, tourists spend up to two days in shopping centers. The issue has become very important in most countries.
This is while Iran has not paid due attention to the issue. Iranian shopping centers are filled with Chinese low-quality products that do not appeal to tourists.
What was the main purpose of establishing the Research Institute of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization?
At present, it is impossible to expand tourism industry without being equipped with modern science and applying modern technologies.
Tourism enjoys high capacities and has become one of the world’s three main industries in terms of generating jobs and value-added.
Given the current intense competition in the industry, Iran is in need of professional measures to catch up with the rivals. Therefore, setting up the institute was necessary and should have been established earlier.
Bomber kills three foreign troops in Kabul
A car bomber killed two US troops and a Polish soldier in an attack on a convoy near the US embassy in Kabul on Tuesday, the NATO-led coalition said, one of the worst attacks on international forces in the Afghan capital in months.
The attack near the heavily fortified embassy wounded 13 Afghan civilians nearby. It came amid a months-long political stalemate and an emboldened insurgency, with a presidential election still unresolved as most foreign combat troops prepare to leave by the end of the year, Reuters reported.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing on the main road leading to Kabul’s international airport, not far from the sprawling US embassy compound that is also home to other members of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) coalition.
In a text message to journalists, a Taliban spokesman said the bomber, identified only as Bilal, had been lying in wait for foreign troops in a car packed with explosives.
Two of the three killed were American military personnel, a US Defense Dept. official confirmed on Tuesday in Washington.
Poland’s military identified the third victim as Rafal Celebudzki, a platoon commander who had also served in Iraq. Two other Polish soldiers were wounded.
Afghan Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Ayub Salangi said on Twitter a car bomber had targeted a convoy of vehicles carrying foreign troops.
The blast tore through cars and shattered shop windows on the road a few hundred meters from the main embassy gate.
Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said 13 Afghan civilians were wounded and 17 nearby cars damaged.
Ambulances arrived within minutes of the blast during the morning rush hour at about 8 a.m. (0330 GMT).
“It was a huge blast,” said wounded bystander Haji Awal Gul, his shirt splattered with blood as he stood on the roadside.
Tensions have been building in Afghanistan since the disputed runoff vote in a presidential election in June, with rival candidates still arguing over the outcome despite US efforts to broker a compromise deal.
Taliban militants have been exploiting the uncertainty, launching bombings and attacks on government security forces and officials across Afghanistan.
In western Herat province, one US soldier was killed when an unidentified member of the Afghan security forces turned on his trainers late on Monday, the latest incident in a string of “green-on-blue” attacks.
A Western official, who asked not to be identified, said the US soldier was killed when the Afghan threw a hand grenade at his trainers.
ISAF did not confirm the exact details of the attack. An ISAF statement on Tuesday said the US service member was killed when an individual wearing an Afghan army uniform “turned his weapon against ISAF members”.
Also overnight, two suicide bombers set ablaze 26 fuel tankers in an attack on a customs post in eastern Afghanistan near a border crossing into Pakistan, Afghanistan’s TOLO media reported on Tuesday.
One of the attackers detonated explosives he was carrying while the other was killed in an ensuing gun battle, the report on tolonews.com quoted Afghan officials as saying.
14% of mortality pertain to cancer
By Sadeq Dehqan & Katayoon Dashti
Iran is among the countries with high incidence of cancer, said head of Iran Society of Radiotherapy Oncology (ISRO) Dr. Mohammad Reza Qavam Nasiri.
Speaking to Iran Daily, he noted that cancer accounts for close to 14 percent of the mortality in Iran. However, he added, the rate of cancer spread is not so evident in every region.
Some nations have established databank on cancer patients and this can help attain precise figures of those afflicted with cancer as well as those with malignant cells, he added.
Qavam Nasiri said the medical science of cancer in Iran is at par with that in advanced countries and Iran definitely ranks first in oncology in the region.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the state of equipment and facilities for treating cancer, he said even neighboring countries, such as Turkey, have better conditions as well as advanced radiotherapy systems.
He said the eight-year Sacred Defense (1980-88 Iraqi imposed war) coupled with economic sanctions have created obstacles to the progress of oncology facilities and equipment.
Qavam Nasiri said some linear accelerators were installed in university centers and were also dispatched to the centers in Khorasan Razavi, Isfahan, Tehran, and Fars provinces. Theses centers are currently equipped with the latest radiotherapy systems, he added.
The incumbent government has taken more steps to upgrade medical equipment and facilities due to the easing of sanctions and better financial conditions, he stated.
He hoped that with the cooperation of the government, the Majlis, insurance companies and other relevant bodies, further steps will be taken in this respect.
Currently, there is no need to dispatch cancer patients abroad, he said. Even cancer patients from neighboring countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf littoral states come to Iran for treatment, he noted.
Radiotherapy, X-ray radiography, chemotherapy, and anticancer drugs are used for treating canter, he pointed out.
Hormone, he added, is also used for treating prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.
Radioactive materials and immunotherapy are also used for treating cancers such as thyroid cancer.
Words take flight in Persian calligraphy
During a prolific 200-year period in the 14th–16th centuries, four master calligraphers invented one of the most aesthetically refined forms of Persian culture: ‘nasta’liq’, a type of calligraphy so beautiful that for the first time the expressive form of the words eclipsed their meaning.
‘Nasta’liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy’, which opened on September13 at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, displays 20 rarely seen masterworks created by the script’s greatest practitioners, tracing its evolution from a simple style of writing to a potent form of artistic expression.
This is the first exhibition ever to focus specifically on ‘nasta’liq’, which was used primarily to write poetry, Persia’s quintessential form of literature.
With sinuous lines, short vertical strokes and an astonishing sense of rhythm, the script was an immediate success and was rapidly adopted throughout the Persian-speaking world from Turkey to India, artdaily.org wrote.
“‘Nasta’liq’ represents one of the most accomplished forms of Persian art, developed at a time of cultural and artistic effervescence in Iran,” said Simon Rettig, exhibition curator and curatorial fellow at the Freer and Sackler galleries.
“In a sense, it became the visual embodiment of the Persian language enthusiastically embraced from Istanbul to Delhi and from Bukhara to Baghdad.”
Each of the four masters featured in the exhibition—Mir Ali from Tabriz (active ca. 1370–1410), Sultan Ali from Mashhad (d. 1520), Mir Ali from Herat (d. 1545) and Mir Emad Hasani from Qazvin (d. 1615)—further evolved the ‘nasta’liq’ style, intentionally slanting the script for dramatic effect, modulating lines to balance fluidity and discipline, and adding delicate, twisting flourishes.
Primarily drawn from the collections of the Freer and Sackler galleries, highlights include the only known signed work by the ‘inventor’ of nasta’liq Mir Ali from Tabriz, two folios from a collection of poetry by the late 15th-century ruler Sultan Husayn Bayqara and sumptuous illuminated pages from imperial Mughal albums.
Protesters: Breakaway east no longer part of Ukraine
Kiev votes to give east limited self-rule
An opposition leader fighting against Ukrainian forces on Tuesday dismissed Kiev giving the separatist east limited self-rule, saying Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region was no longer part of the ex-Soviet country.
“Complete self-rule will be introduced in Donbass, this territory no longer has anything to do with Ukraine,” Andrei Purgin, deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said, AFP reported.
“Ukraine is free to adopt any law it wants. But we are not planning any federalism with Ukraine.”
Ukrainian lawmakers had adopted legislation on Tuesday giving the separatist east limited self-rule under government proposals aimed at ending the deadly clashes.
President Petro Poroshenko has said the proposals will pave the way for decentralization while guaranteeing “the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence” of Ukraine.
Purgin said pro-Russian protesters “will carefully study” legislation, adding “it is a positive signal because it marks Kiev’s return to reality.
“We will probably hold dialogue over some points, in particular in economic, social and cultural spheres,” he said.
Pro-Russian protesters have fought the authorities in Kiev since April in a bid to split from Ukraine and gain independence.
Kiev and the West accuse Russia of masterminding the revolt and sending in regular troops to prop up protesters in Ukraine, the accusations that Moscow denies.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday Russia needed to increase its military presence on the Crimea peninsula due to the crisis in Ukraine, news agencies reported.
“The deployment of proper and self-sufficient forces in the direction of Crimea is one of (our) top priorities,” Itar-Tass quoted him as saying.”
The situation in Ukraine has escalated sharply and the presence of foreign military has increased in the immediate vicinity of our borders.”
Russia’s annexed Crimea in March 2014 after a referendum which its residents vote to join Russia.
Iraqi MPs reject picks for interior, defense ministers
The Iraqi parliament rejected the prime minister’s nominees for defense and interior ministers, leaving the two crucial posts unfilled as a US-led coalition prepares to intensify airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group that controls vast parts of the country.
Lawmakers convened Tuesday, even as US jets carried out an airstrike near Baghdad for the first time since launching an aerial campaign in early August, and French warplanes flying from the United Arab Emirates began reconnaissance missions over Iraq, AP reported.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi put forward Sunni lawmaker Jaber al-Jabberi as his candidate for defense minister, and Shia lawmaker Riyad Ghareeb as his pick for interior minister. Parliament, which could confirm the nominees with a simple majority, voted 118-117 against Ghareeb, and 131-108 against al-Jabberi.
“The failure of the parliament to agree on the candidates to fill the posts of interior and defense ministers shows clearly that the gap among and inside political groups are still huge and that each bloc is pursuing its own ambitions,” said lawmaker Mutashar al-Samarie. “I think that the posts of defense and interior minister should be kept away from sectarian power sharing.
Iraq’s problems in Iraq can be solved only by bringing independent and efficient people to fill ministerial posts.”
Mohsen Laftah Asfour, a lawmaker with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s bloc, was the only lawmaker approved in Tuesday’s session and will assume the role of Water Resources Minister. Parliament adjourned until Thursday.
Lawmakers approved the majority of al-Abadi’s cabinet on September 8 and officially voted him in as the country’s prime minister, bringing a formal end to the eight-year rule of Nouri al-Maliki, but al-Abadi requested a delay in naming a defense and interior minister because lawmakers had not agreed on the proposed candidates.
Al-Maliki, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and former speaker of parliament Osama al-Nujeifi were given the largely ceremonial posts of vice president. Kurdish politician and former Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari was named one of three deputy prime ministers, while former premier Ibrahim al-Jaafari was named foreign minister.