Iran’s Place on the SOFA

If you’d like to see the official Iranian position on the U.S-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), here it is. Short version: they’re against it. Not a surprise, of course, but it also squares with something I heard about Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki being under extraordinary pressure from Tehran (as in, diplomatic cables in the form of severed horses’ heads) to include a withdrawal timetable for American troops in any eventual agreement. From recent reports, it looks like that’s been resolved with a conditions-based clause, and that the main point of contention is now jurisdiction over American forces outside of their bases. But whether and how the SOFA deal gets done will reflect as much on Iraq-Iran relations as it does on Iraq-U.S. relations.