Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Iran and Iraq......Making Like Friends

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran's president -- hosting a visit from Iraq's prime minister and expressing support for his country's beleaguered war-torn neighbor-- says the Islamic republic supports a "united" Iraq and will help the nation "establish full security," an Iranian news agency reported.

So Iran and Iraq are making good friends.

And here is why:

Iran has a Shiite majority with Shiite President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iraq has a majority of Shiites, but had a Sunni Dictator, Saddam Hussein keeping them in line.

But, we took out the Sunni dictator and then had the Iraqis hold a democratic election, opening the gate for the Iraqis to freely elect a Shiite Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki.

Check out the picture above. That is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki shaking hands in Tehran today.

During their meeting, al-Maliki asked for help from Iran in stopping militants from crossing into Iraq.

New York Times
September 12, 2006

Iraq Asks Iran to Stop Flow of Militants

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iraq's prime minister made his first official visit to Iran on Tuesday, asking Tehran to prevent al-Qaida militants from slipping across the border to carry out attacks, an Iraqi official said. Iran's president promised to help Iraq establish security.

Just in case you were wondering what kind of friendship that Iran and Iraq are building, look no further than oil.

Toronto Star
September 13, 2006

Iraq and Iran to Sign Deal on Shared Oil Fields

Iraq and Iran plan to develop oil fields that straddle their border and Iraq will pump crude to its neighbour's refineries, deepening commercial ties between the two oil producers, Iraq's oil minister said yesterday.
There is another interesting tid bit in the Toronto Star article.

Iraq could forge similar deals involving oil fields on borders with Syria and Kuwait.

Yes, you read that correctly, Iraq and Kuwait working together.

Why did we lead Operation Desert Storm in the early '90s? But I digress.

You'll remember Syria, they are that little country on the Iraq border that is part of United Nations Ambassador John Bolton's "Beyond the Axis of Evil." A kind of extended version of the original Axis of Evil.

Syria was in the news recently when it killed three men trying to attack the United State Embassy in Damasscus.

Times of India
September 12, 2006

Three US embassy Attackers Killed in Syria

DAMASCUS/CAIRO: Three men trying to attack the US embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus were killed, the Syrian Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. A fourth man was wounded and detained.

Of course this attack was useless, because the US Ambassador to Syria was withdrawn after the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

So Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was put in an odd postition of having to thank the Syrians for protecting the US citizens in the embassy.

Khaleej Times
September 12, 2006

Rice Praises Syrian Agents for Repelling Attack on US Embassy

STELLARTON, Nova Scotia - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised Syrian security agents on Tuesday for repelling attack on American Embassy in Damascus, but said it was too early to know who may have been behind it.

Which had the Syrians respond with an attack on the United States foriegn policy in the Middle East.

Aljazeera
September 13, 2006

Syria blames US policies for attack

Syria has accused the US of fuelling extremism and terrorism in the Middle East after four attackers stormed the US embassy in Damascus.

The Syrian embassy in Washington said in a statement on Tuesday that US policies in the Middle East have fuelled extremism, terrorism and anti-US sentiment.

It is important to keep in mind that Syria, unlike Iran, is a secular country, the way Iraq was before Saddam Hussein was removed from power.

While I knew we were trying to bring peace to the Middle East, I didn't know we were trying to bring peace to two of the "Axis of Evil" and one of the countries "beyond the Axis of Evil."

I don't think this is the kind of peace that George W. Bush's administration had in mind. I know it is not what I thought we were working toward.

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