Maliki last week vowed to "never give up" on serving an unprecedented third term as the country's premier, despite growing criticism from both opposition and allies of his leadership (File Archive/AFP)
Iranian leadership told Agence France Presse
and the media Sunday that while it backs Iraq Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki's bid to continue as the country's premier, Tehran is also ready to support "any candidate chosen by the Iraqi parliament."
Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian told reporters, "If Mr Maliki is chosen as prime minister, we will work hard together. If another person is chosen by parliament, the Islamic Republic of Iran will also support them. It's an internal affair for Iraq."
Maliki last week vowed to "never give up" on serving an unprecedented third term as the country's premier, despite growing criticism from both opposition and allies of his leadership. Many lawmakers and Iraqi civilians accuse Maliki of inciting sectarian tensions and turmoil throughout the country,
which has collectively culminated into the current Sunni militant offensive led by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.
The Shiite premier will face his test Tuesday, when the Iraqi parliament is set to meet to elect a speaker, president and prime minister.
Iran previously pledged to back Baghdad with advice and military assistance if Iraqi leadership requested such from Tehran.
Shiite-dominated Iran has been a strong supporter of current Iraqi leadership, and is a staunch opponent of the breakup of Iraq, describing such as "an Israeli plot," according to the AFP report.
"We will never allow (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu's dreams about the disintegration of Iraq and the region to come true," Amir-Abdollahian said Sunday.
The Deputy FM also added that the independence of Kurdistan was "in nobody's interest" and criticized Washington's lack of action to fight against terrorism in the region.
"At best, the behavior of the United States over the past three weeks regarding Iraq has been suspect. We see no need to cooperate or have talks with the United States about Iraq," he said.