United States (US) Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said on Sunday that he is not confident that a nuclear deal between Western powers and Iran is imminent.
“The sooner we get back into the deal, which is in our interest, and presumably Iran’s interest, the more faithfully we implement it, and the more we can build on it to address the other issues between us and Iran and between Iran and the region,” Malley said speaking at the Doha Forum international conference.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s parliament failed again on Saturday to vote for a president after Iran-backed groups boycotted the session, in a setback to an alliance led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr which won the election and threatened to remove them from politics.
Sadr had hoped parliament would elect Rebar Ahmed, a veteran Kurdish intelligence official and current interior minister of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.
But only 202 members of parliament out of 329 were present, which is less than the necessary two-thirds quorum needed to choose a new president for the mostly ceremonial post, while 126 lawmakers boycotted the session.
“It is a storm in a cup. Today is a good proof that the party that had claimed that it has the majority had failed to achieve it. It is a bad situation getting worse” said Farhad Alaaldin, chairman of the Iraq Advisory Council, a policy research institute.
A win for Sadr’s allies would threaten to exclude Tehran’s allies from power for the first time in years.
The delay prolongs a bitter deadlock in Iraqi politics months after an October general election from which Sadr emerged the biggest winner, with his Shi’ite, pro-Iran rivals receiving a hammering at the polls.