Apr. 5, 2005 – A Sunni minister in the interim government who spent much of his adult life in the US and supported a massive assault by US-led troops on Fallujah last November has been named speaker of Iraqâ€™s parliament.
One week after bickering Shiâ€™ites and Kurds failed to name a speaker in a parliamentary session that broke down into heated arguments, the new government resolved differences enough to select Hajim Al-Hassani Monday for the post.
Hassani pushed for the privatization of several economic sectors while serving as industry minister in the US-installed interim government. He also drew criticism from many Sunnis last year when he supported the assault on Fallujah that reportedly killed at least 1,000 Iraqis, including countless civilians, and may have permanently displaced tens of thousands of others.
Hassani earned advanced degrees in the US during the 1980s and 90s. He also ran an investment firm in Los Angeles.