Iraq Chooses New Prime Minister, an Ex-Intelligence Chief Backed by U.S.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, of Iraq, delivering his first televised address after his nomination in April.

Iraq’s Parliament on Thursday picked Mustafa al-Kadhimi, a former intelligence chief, to serve as the country’s new prime minister.

Iraqi officials have said Kadhimi, 53, is acceptable to both the United States and Iran, the two main foreign powers competing for influence in Iraq, The New York Times reported.

Iraq has been without a prime minister since late last year, when Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned after facing anti-government protests.

Kadhimi has met with protesters, taking a different approach to the unrest from the previous government, which at times used the military against demonstrators.

In addition to social unrest, Kadhimi will also have to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, which has locked down Iraq and driven oil and gas prices to historic lows, halving Iraq’s operating revenue.

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