Under the new law, transgender people can also be sentenced to one to three years in prison. While supporters of the changes say they will help protect religious values in the country, human rights groups say they are another black mark on Iraq's record of violations against LGBT people.

Under the new law, those who promote homosexuality or prostitution, doctors who perform sex reassignment surgery, men who "intentionally" pretend to be women, and those who engage in "wife swapping" will also face prison sentences.

An earlier draft of the bill, an amendment to the anti-prostitution law in the late 1980s, had proposed the death penalty for same-sex relationships. But this was changed after facing opposition from the US and other Western countries.

Former minister strangled his wife to death: Cameras saw the murder! Former minister strangled his wife to death: Cameras saw the murder!

MP Amir al-Maamouri told Shafaq News that the new law is "an important step in the fight against sexual perversion, given the leakage of unique cases that contradict Islamic and societal values."

The US State Department said in a statement that the adoption of the law reforms is a threat to human rights and freedoms. 

"The law also undermines Iraq's ability to diversify its economy and attract foreign investment. International business coalitions have already stated that such discrimination in Iraq will harm business and economic growth in the country," the US State Department added. 

British Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron also called the changes "dangerous and worrying", writing on his old Twitter handle, X, "No one should be targeted because of who they are. We urge the Government of Iraq to uphold the human rights and freedoms of all people, without discrimination," he wrote on his old Twitter handle, X.