Global Politics

Iran's strategy in Iraq

Iraq's ambassador to the U.S. said Iran has been both helpful and unhelpful to Iraq since the U.S. invasion and he added that the U.S. did do Iran a favor by eliminating Saddam Hussein. He went on to say that many of the U.S.'s problem with Iran have nothing to do with Iraq, and they're committed to dialogue. The security agreement Washington just signed with Baghdad is said to prohibit U.S. forces from using bases in Iraq to attack other countries. Secretary of State Rice was asked about Iran yesterday and she said Iran has lost much of its influence in Iraq. U.S. officials have long accused Iraq of supporting Iraqi militia and insurgent groups and Rice said tough U.S. action against those elements has succeeded. This military analyst says U.S. actions against Iranian elements in Iraq have been successful but also that Iran's focus has moved away from supporting all the militias to specific Shiite parties that have influence in the government, so that doesn't mean Iran's influence is waning in Iraq. This analyst says Iran's hand in Iraq does seem to be weaker than a year ago, but they still have influence.

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