Isn’t That Special Alert: Ahmadinejad in Baghdad Announces “Brotherly” Relations Between Iran and Iraq

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Friendly, brotherly and sincere relations between Iran and Iraq”…Isn’t that Special!

As I have discussed on several occasions before (here, here, here, and here), the strengthening of ties between Iraq’s Shi’ite dominated government, and the Iranian Shi’ite theocracy under Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah Khameini, is hardly in our strategic interest. One wonders if Ahmadinejad will visit another fellow Iranian citizen, the much lionized Shari’a promoting bigot who resides in Iraq, and yet retains his Iranian citizenship—Ayatollah Sistani. 

Reflecting aptly on the limited tactical achievements of the much ballyhooed “surge”, Diana West points out the utter lack of so-called “transformative effects” resulting from our “earlier and easier” successful military intervention in Kuwait, and wonders about the long term impact of all the efforts since 2003—“surge” included—in Iraq itself:  

I look across the Iraqi border and see in Kuwait “a secure and stable” state, to be sure, “friendly”(ish) to the United States, and “victorious” over Saddam Hussein—the fruits of an earlier and easier victory. But there was absolutely nothing transformative about that accomplishment, not in the region and not in the entire Muslim world. What about Iraq? I would love to ask surge enthusiasts like Mr. [Charles] Krauthammer, What do we GET at the end of the day (years) out of our investment in Iraq? What we have so far, as I am wont to note, is a Hezbollah-supporting, Israel-boycott-participating, OPEC member and sharia state (that just last month sentenced a Kurdish writer to prison for “blasphemy”). Not exactly the door prize. 

The “grand strategy” of Islamic democratization or more aptly “making the world safe for Shari’a” continues apace.

Highlights/Lowlights from this AP report of Ahmadinejad’s visit to Iraq today 3/2/08:  

·        Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—the first Iranian president to visit Iraq—said Sunday his landmark visit to Iraq opened a new chapter in “brotherly” relations between the two countries.  

·        Going from Baghdad’s airport straight to a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who gave him a red-carpet welcome. “The two kissed four times on the cheek in the traditional fashion and a band played the two countries’ national anthems.” 

·        Ahmadinejad said in a joint news conference with Talabani at the Iraqi president’s residence, which is located across the Tigris River from the new US Embassy in the fortified Green Zone. “We had very good talks that were friendly and brotherly. … We have mutual understandings and views in all fields, and both sides plan to improve relations as much as possible.” 

·        Talabani said “..the two discussed economic, political, security and oil issues and planned to sign several agreements later.” 

·        When a reporter asked about the Mujahedeen Khalq in Iraq, which opposes Iran’s ruling clerics, The news conference appeared to end abruptly. Talabani, a Sunni Kurd, speaks fluent Farsi, interjected and volunteered to answer the question, saying: “This issue has been discussed earlier and the presence of those as a terrorist organization is constitutionally not allowed. We will endeavor to get rid of them out of the Iraqi territory soon.”  

·        Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told The Associated Press that Ahmadinejad plans to leave Monday morning. After discussions with Talabani, Ahmadinejad went to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Both of the Iraqi leaders have made official visits to Iran since taking office.  

The US has tried to downplay Ahmadinejad’s visit, and President Bush was left to make this feckless comment to reporters at his ranch in Crawford, Texas: 

“He’s [Ahmadinejad is] a neighbor. And the message needs to be, quit sending in sophisticated equipment that’s killing our citizens.” 

In Teheran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, made this reply which highlighted the US predicament: 

“His [Presdient Bush’s] remarks are an intervention in the friendly, brotherly and sincere relations between Iran and Iraq. Americans do not want the relations to grow.”

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at @andrewbostom.org

One response to “Isn’t That Special Alert: Ahmadinejad in Baghdad Announces “Brotherly” Relations Between Iran and Iraq

  1. Outstanding article… Sistani living in Baghdad immediately evokes memories of that Iranian Exile Who, after cruel 7-week imprisonment in Tehran’s Siyah-Chal, on NO CHARGES, was forced to leave for house-arrest in the depth of the cruelest winter in 40 years, and with only 48 hours preparation…

    But Sistani is NO Baha’u’llah, and will NEVER have the influence accorded the King of Kings when He stayed in Baghdad!