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June 15, 2022
Federal court ruling setting conditions for electing Iraq’s president influenced by Iran: Expert

(This article first appeared on,

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The February ruling by the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court, which stipulated that two-thirds of lawmakers in Iraq’s parliament are needed to elect the country’s president, was made “under the influence of Iran”, argued an expert on Iraqi politics on Monday. 

The remark was made by university lecturer and Iraqi politics expert Kamaran Palani during a panel in Istanbul, Turkey, titled ‘MENA Regional Dynamics: De-escalation and Challenges’ and organized by the Kurdistan 24 Research and Survey Center and the Al Sharq Strategic Research think tank. 

In early February, the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court (FSC) ruled that a two-thirds majority of Iraq’s 329-seat parliament is needed to elect the President of the Republic. 

Issued “under the influence of Iran,” the ruling made it impossible for the Oct. 10, 2021, election winners to elect a president by themselves, Palani noted.

“I would make a strong argument [or] statement,” he said, adding that the neighboring country made the decision. 

The panel also shed light on the role played by the Kurds in the Iraqi political process since last fall’s parliamentary elections and the “significant and unprecedented” political impasse that ensued. 

Palani outlined the three main challenges the Kurdistan Region faces due to the present political crisis in Iraq. These are rocket and drone attacks on its capital Erbil, the FSC’s ruling (also in February) against its oil and gas law, and domestic political divisions. 

Erbil requires international support to withstand these threats, particularly the rocket attacks that intend to destabilize the capital, Palanai argued. 

Iraq’s current political impasse has the potential to lead to armed confrontations and civil unrest, according to Nahro Zagros, a Kurdish academic and the panel’s moderator. 

Zagros believes Turkey’s role, along with that of the international community, is “paramount” for enabling the Kurds in Iraq to confront the current challenges. 

The energy potential of the Kurdistan Region was another topic the panel discussed.

Howri Mansubeg, an energy expert, also participated in the panel. He focused on the potential of the Kurdistan Region’s natural gas resources to be exported to Turkey and other countries.

He argued that it is in the “national security interest” of Turkey to support the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), as Erbil is one of Ankara’s most “trustworthy” allies in the region. 

A private panel titled ‘KRG and Turkey: Strategic Alignment or Tactical Arrangement’ was later held. It focused on Turkey-Kurdistan Region relations in light of the evolving world and regional order.

To watch the

Nahro Zagros is a Distinguished Fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy, a Washington DC based foreign policy and defense think tank.