Iraq: if have relations with Israel risk the death penalty

The law was passed with 275 votes in favour in a 329-seat assembly. A parliamentary statement said that the legislation is ‘a true reflection of the will of the people’.

Influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose party won the most seats in last year’s Iraqi parliamentary elections, called on Iraqis to take to the streets to celebrate this ‘great achievement’.

It is unclear how the law will be implemented since Iraq has not recognised Israel since the country’s formation in 1948. The two nations have no diplomatic relations.

It is also unclear how and whether the law will be implemented in the semi-independent region of Kurdistan, which, on the other hand, not only has excellent relations with Israel but also strong military ties.

In this case, Iran’s influence on Iraq was seen in all its tragedy. In Tehran, they rejoiced as much and more than in Baghdad.

The US said it was deeply disturbed by the Iraqi legislation.

“In addition to undermining freedom of expression and fostering an environment of anti-Semitism, this law stands in stark contrast to the progress made by Iraq’s neighbours who have been building bridges and normalising their relations with Israel, creating new opportunities for people across the region,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.

No reaction is known from Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, which – as mentioned – has had excellent relations with Israel since the time of Saddam Hussein.