Nouri al-Maliki is more than influenced by the Shiite clerics in Iran who have done so much for the troubled Iraqi prime minister. Maliki just schlepped over the border for a powwow with Iranian bigwigs. Tehran’s spokesman said the PM was in town to exchange views, but for all we know he just needed a hug.
It has been reported that Iran may have reached a deal with other power players in the region (not including the U.S., of course) to set up a new Shiite-dominated Iraqi government with Maliki in charge.
While he’s technically the prime minister, Maliki hasn’t been able to do much since his rival, former PM Ayad Allawi, won more seats in parliament.
Whatever happens, it remains clear that one of the major accomplishments of George W. Bush’s war in Iraq was to greatly expand Iran’s influence. —PZS
AFP via Google:
Allawi, who has looked to support from Gulf Arab states led by Saudi Arabia which he visited earlier this month, at the weekend renewed accusations that Iran is meddling in the drawn-out coalition talks in Baghdad.
“We know that unfortunately Iran is trying to wreak havoc on the region, and trying to destabilise the region by destabilising Iraq, and destabilising Lebanon and destabilising the Palestinian issue,” Allawi told CNN on Sunday.
“And this is where unfortunately Iraq and the rest of the greater Mideast is falling victim to these terrorists who are definitely Iran-financed and supported by various governments in the region.”
DoD / R.D. Ward
“Listen, Bob, it’s not you. There’s someone else. It’s a pre-existing relationship, to be honest, and they’ve been very good to me. Don’t take it personally. It’s just geopolitics.”