Iraq’s former spy chief sworn in as prime minister

After six months of political wrangling, Mustafa al-Khadimi, former spy chief and veteran journalist, won the support of 255 lawmakers and most of the cabinet on Thursday as sixth Iraqi prime minister since 2003. A reputed pragmatist, he appears to have won backing from the two main players in Iraq’s affairs, the US and Iran. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called him shortly after his acceptance to discuss “implementing reforms, addressing COVID-19 and fighting corruption.” He must also cope  with falling oil revenues and wide popular disaffection with the system of factional patronage that has paralyzed the government in Baghdad.

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