Iran's ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Danaeifar denies supporting the nomination of incumbent Nouri al-Maliki as the next Iraqi prime minister.
On Sunday, some news sources reported that Danaeifar was the first person to congratulate al-Maliki for his nomination as the final candidate of the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), saying al-Maliki would be the leader of the next government.
"I did not talk with the media in this regard, and I have made no comments about the nomination of Mr. Maliki," Danaeifar told ISNA on Monday.
“The comments I made … were about what happened in Iraq on Friday,” Danaeifar added.
Iraq's newly-formed National Alliance (NA) -- a merger of Maliki's Shia-led State of Law coalition and the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) -- announced Maliki as its candidate for the premiership on Friday.
“This development is a turning point for exiting the deadlock over the formation of Iraq's government,” Danaeifar said.
"Saudi Arabia was the first country to congratulate Nouri al-Maliki….The Islamic Republic of Iran, me and other Iranian officials have made no comment regarding the nomination of Mr. Maliki as the candidate of National Alliance," Danaeifar concluded.