Iran and Iraq

Since the Senate Foreign Relations committee seems to be giving Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker a pretty tough time regarding Iran’s influence in Iraq and how reasonable it is to believe we can eliminate it, now might be a good time to point out that former Iraqi Prime Minister and head of PM Noori Miliki’s Dawa Party, Ibrahim Jafari, was in Tehran on Sunday, where he met with Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani:

Jafari. . .highlighted the Islamic Republic of Iran’s role in solving his country’s problems and said, “Iran seeks to establish peace, security and stability in the region.”

Maybe the timing’s just a coincidence. Or maybe it has to do with ironing out the wrinkles in the Basra deal. Still, it’s hard to believe that Jafari and Maliki don’t understand the importance of the Petraeus Report. The appearances of this are radioactive, but so far it looked like nobody in Washington noticed.

Update: After reading this from Kevin Drum,it looks like this meeting could be another sign that Iran isincreasingly taking Maliki’s side in his standoff with al-Sadr. As forhow Moqtada’s doing, as the title of Kevin’s post wonders, I’d justpoint out that every time someone counts al-Sadr out, he manages to getback up from the canvas in better shape than before.

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