Maliki is nixing Tehrans Tyrants

Amir Taheri, NY POST

April 16, 2007 — A FEW months ago, Washington circles saw Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as “Tehran’s man” in Baghdad. Today, Tehran circles label him “Washington’s man” in Baghdad.

Maliki’s government has the unenviable task of keeping the Americans in, when they don’t want to stay – and the Iranians out, when they want to come in.

Some Americans blame Maliki for doing nothing to hasten the departure of U.S. troops, for not decreeing a blanket pardon of Baathists (regardless of what they did during four decades of despotic domination), and for rejecting federal schemes that could lead to the disintegration of the Iraqi state.

They also criticize Maliki because he refuses to share out Iraq’s oil income as if it were loot among thieves.

These American critics want Maliki to throw Iraq to the wolves so that Jack Murtha and Michael Moore can prove that toppling Saddam Hussein was wrong.

Maliki’s Khomeinist critics in Tehran have their own beef.

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) recently called Maliki “too pro-Arab.” In plain language, that means he emphasizes the Arab identity of the majority of Iraqi peoples – rather than their sectarian affiliation, as Tehran would prefer.

Last month, Ali Khamenei, the top mullah in the Khomeinist system, attacked Maliki in a roundabout way. He recalled that many leaders of the new Iraq spent years in Iran as exiles, and he implied that it was payback time. Last week, the mullahs showed their anger by refusing to let Maliki’s plane pass through Iranian airspace on its way to the Far East.

Maliki has offered no favors to the mullahs. He visited half a dozen capitals in the early stages of his premiership – but pointedly avoided Tehran. He also turned down Tehran’s offer of hosting a regional conference on Iraq, preferring to hold the exercise in Baghdad and then, later this year, in Cairo. CONTINUE

April 16, 2007 | Comments Off on Maliki is nixing Tehrans Tyrants

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