Iran Wins: Iraq Seeks Iranian Help On "Security"

(Guest Post by Big Tent Democrat)

So the question is will Iran stand up so the U.S. can stand down?:

In his first state visit to Iran, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki today discussed the security situation in Iraq with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and asked for Mr. Ahmadinejad's support in quelling the violence that threatens to fracture this country.

"We had a good discussion with Mr. Ahmadinejad," Mr. Maliki said at a news conference in Tehran, the Iranian capital, after the two met. "Even in security issues, there is no barrier in the way of cooperation." Mr. Ahmadinejad said that "Iran will give its assistance to establish complete security in Iraq because Iraq's security is Iran's security."

For Mr. Maliki, the visit was a kind of homecoming, since he had spent a part of his exile years during Saddam Hussein's rule living in Tehran. Many members of Mr. Maliki's Shiite political group, the Islamic Dawa Party, fled to Iran to escape the wrath of Mr. Hussein's security forces. Iranian leaders are close to Dawa and other religious Iraqi Shiite parties, because Iran is governed by Shiite Persians.

Iran wins. So what about that Axis of Evil?

So what does our government say about this?

The initial American reaction today was cautious. In Washington, Tom Casey, a State Department spokesman, told reporters: "As you know, though, we've repeatedly expressed our concerns, as have others, about Iranian interference in Iraq's internal affairs. That is something that we remain concerned about.

"And while certainly we would welcome any statements of support for Iraq's government and democracy, and any pledges to act in a responsible way that does not interfere in the internal affairs of Iraq,'' he said, "we certainly want to make sure that any statements made were followed up by real concrete actions to address some of the concerns that are out there.'

And what do the Iraqis say about our reaction?'

Mr. Maliki said today that the American accusations of Iranian interference in Iraq will not affect economic deals that have already been signed between the two countries.

"All the political, security and economic accords that have been signed with the Islamic republic's officials will be carried out," he said.

Mr. Maliki is leading a large delegation that includes Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the Iraqi national security adviser, who is close to some Iranian officials. The Iraqis are scheduled to meet on Wednesday with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a powerful former president. Mr. Maliki's predecessor, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, visited Iran in July 2005.

What did Dick Cheney say Sunday?

MR. RUSSERT: Have we, have we created a fundamentalist Islamic regime in Iraq?


MR. RUSSERT: The prime minister of Iraq is going where tomorrow? Iran.

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Mm-hmm. It's a neighbor.

MR. RUSSERT: If, if you go to southern Iran, Richard Engel, our correspondent, has been there for three years, they answer the phone in the hotels in Persian. Iran has built an airport in Najaf. They built a railroad in Najaf in Iraq. Who has more influence with Iraq? Iran or the U.S.?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I think the U.S. does today, but there's no question but what the new government of Iraq has to get along with its neighbors. It also visits the Saudis. It also has had sessions with the other governments in the region. Their people need to work with the Turks, with the Syrians, with the Jordanians and with others. We have encouraged the states in the region to come together to help the new government in Iraq. It is a Shia government, no question about it. They've got close ties. Iran was the place where most of the leadership took refuge during the period of time when Saddam Hussein was in power, because it was the only place they could go.

But the fact of the matter is, you're a lot better off today. You don't have a government in Baghdad that's pursuing weapons of mass destruction, you don't have a government in Baghdad that is a state sponsor of terror. You don't have a government in Baghdad that is doing all those things that Saddam Hussein did for so long. So we're safer.

MR. RUSSERT: But you've also lost--you've also lost a buffer to Iran, and that's what I'm going to come back and talk about, if I could.

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Mm-hmm. . . .

MR. RUSSERT: And we're back with the vice president of the United States, Dick Cheney. Let me show you what Mr. Khatami from Iran, visiting the United States, had to say and read it to you and our viewers.

"Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami warned that U.S. military action in the Middle East has backfired, producing greater terrorism, imperiling the future of Iraq and damaging America's long-term interests.

"But the danger of even great instability in the region will ultimately prevent the U.S. from launching military strikes against Iran over disputes about its nuclear intentions, he predicted. ...

"America will not make the" same "mistake of attacking Iran. ... Iran is not Iraq." Is he right?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, we certainly understand Iran is not Iraq. I'm not sure I would agree with much of what else he said. Obviously, we're concerned about what Iran is up to. We think their pursuit of enrichment capability that would allow them ultimately to produce nuclear weapons is fundamentally a problem for that part of the world. That's a view shared by most of our friends in the international community.

MR. RUSSERT: How do you stop them?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, we've started through the process of working with the other nations involved. The EU 3, the Russians and the Chinese, we've got resolutions for the U.N. Security Council, a tough resolution in July, that basically calls on them to give up their nuclear aspirations. And since they have not responded affirmatively to that, we're now in the process of negotiating with the U.N. Security Council members and part of that P5 process on a set of sanctions that could be approved by the United Nations and imposed on Iran.

MR. RUSSERT: Will we do anything to stop the Iranians from having a nuclear bomb?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: We have said repeatedly that we think they should not have a nuclear bomb. And we have also made it abundantly clear we want to solve the problem diplomatically. But the president has always emphasized no options have been taken off the table.

Yep, BushCo got this one all figured out.

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    LOL!!! Republicans are too busy worring about democratic criticisms to pay attention to what's going on on the world stage. Besides,having squandered our military assets in Iraq,the nutcase in the White House is now taking cover in religious claptrap.

    Re: Iran Wins: Iraq Seeks Iranian Help On "Securit (none / 0) (#2)
    by anon55 on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 01:01:47 PM EST
    I really don't see how that's any worse than what is going on in Iraq now and in the forseeable future. Is it more dangerous for Iraq to be a stable puppet state of the Iranian anti-US theocracy, or to be a *failed state run by anti-US clerics and warlords*? Historically speaking, the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region caused us a whole lot more harm than, say, Syria-Lebanon.

    This is another fine mess you've gotten us into, Bushy.

    Re: Iran Wins: Iraq Seeks Iranian Help On "Securit (none / 0) (#4)
    by Lww on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:04:34 PM EST
    This gets tragically funnier by the day. Did anyone think of this scenario in March, 2003?

    CHENEY: We have said repeatedly that we think they should not have a nuclear bomb. And we have also made it abundantly clear we want to solve the problem diplomatically. But the president has always emphasized no options have been taken off the table. No options are ever off the table for this maladministration. Including their favorite option, outright lying: Last update - 13:40 14/09/2006 IAEA: U.S. report on Iran's nuclear plan 'outrageous and dishonest' By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent and Reuters
    VIENNA - UN inspectors have protested to the U.S. government and a Congressional committee about a report on Iran's nuclear work, calling parts of it "outrageous and dishonest," according to a letter obtained by Reuters. The letter said the errors suggested Iran's nuclear fuel program was much more advanced than a series of IAEA reports and Washington's own intelligence assessments have determined. IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said: "We felt obliged to put the record straight with regard to the facts on what we have reported on Iran. It's a matter of the integrity of the IAEA." The letter said the report falsely described Iran to have enriched uranium at its pilot centrifuge plant to weapons-grade level in April, whereas IAEA inspectors had made clear Iran had enriched only to a low level usable for nuclear power reactor fuel. The U.S. has also said that mass quantities of uranium gas await enrichment, which would ultimately be used for the construction of some 40 nuclear bombs.
    -emphasis mine ---edger