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Iraq rejects US congressman’s comments against Iraqi judiciary chief

Baghdad, June 30: The Iraqi Foreign Ministry rebuked the threat by a US congressman to designate Faiq Zidan, head of Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), as a “tool of Iranian influence” in Iraq. The ministry on Saturday said in a statement that the remarks by US Congressman Mike Waltz against Zidan were “a blatant interference in Iraqi internal affairs.” Waltz on Thursday retweeted a US media report about him preparing to label the SJC and its president Zidan “Iranian-controlled assets” via a legislative move by submitting a draft law amendment that includes a clause to back up his claim, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Iraqi ministry stressed that “attempting to influence the judiciary is a violation of the most important components of the (Iraqi) state’s entity, which is responsible for achieving justice, equality, and national stability.” The Iraqi parliament’s Acting Speaker Mohsen al-Mandalawi noted that Iraq, as a sovereign country, builds its relations with all countries “upon mutual respect.” Al-Mandalawi said that if the draft law is approved, it will constitute a dangerous turning point that will affect, in one way or another, Iraq-US relations.

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