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Rapprochement with US Reinforces Iran Hand in Iraq

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By Nicola Nasser*

 

Iran seems successful in turning the Iraqi "strategic" agreement with the US into a tactical one, while it is succeeding in turning its own tactical accords with Iraq into a strategic bondage of the country.

 

The burgeoning US-Iran rapprochement will only reinforce this trend to reinforce Iran hand in Iraq.

 

Therefore, none seems more jubilant than Iraq by the latest indications of rapprochement between the United States and Iran and none seems more on alert to see it through to success.

 

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in a statement issued by his office on September 29 "hailed" what he described as "a great breakthrough" and a "victory" in the US-Iran relations, said he was "very optimistic" and pledged, according to Xinhua "that Iraq is ready to play a role to push forward the positive development" between the very two countries, which have been the "enemies" of Iraq and its war adversaries for decades now and which most Iraqis hold responsible and accountable for their current miseries.

 

Al-Maliki's Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, in an interview with The Associated Press in New York the next day, revealed that Iraq played a "helpful role" in the development; moreover it aspires to " serve as a bridge of communication and understanding between the two," he said.

 

Zebari was trying to take a credit that the editorial of the Iranian Bahar daily on last August 23 attributed to the Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said's visit to Tehran earlier that month and to the "role Oman has played" in the past between Iran and the West.

 

Zebari even seemed so keen to convince the US administration to take "the leadership" of President Hassan Rohani, who was elected in June, and his Iranian government "more seriously" because "they are serious" and "not playing games," contrary of course to the negative reactions of the US Israeli and Arab GCC allies.

 

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*Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
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