BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's embattled prime minister has fought off an attempt to push him out of office, aided by divisions among his opponents and Iranian intervention on his behalf.
Nouri al-Maliki's tactical victory averts a potentially destabilizing contest to replace him, at least for the time being, but perpetuates the sectarian-based deadlock that has paralyzed the country for years.
In the latest setback for those trying to unseat al-Maliki, the country's president said Sunday he would not ratify a petition for a no-confidence vote because it lacked the needed number of signatures.
An Iraqi lawmaker who supports the prime minister says Iran is helping him by trying to buy time. Tehran is pushing for a two-month grace period during which al-Maliki, who has close ties with the Islamic Republic, would ostensibly try to appease coalition partners who accuse him of monopolizing power.