Drudge has his siren blaring for this report:
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned Tuesday that a power vacuum is imminent in Iraq and said that Iran was ready to help fill the gap.
"The political power of the occupiers is collapsing rapidly," Ahmadinejad said at a press conference in Tehran, referring to U.S. troops in Iraq. "Soon, we will see a huge power vacuum in the region. Of course, we are prepared to fill the gap, with the help of neighbors and regional friends like Saudi Arabia, and with the help of the Iraqi nation."
I'm sure other conservatives will point out that this statement reinforces the danger of a premature U.S. pullout from Iraq and demonstrates that Ahmadinejad is being buoyed by all the defeatism talk in Washington. But to me, what's more significant is that it seems Ahmadinejad is reaching out to Maliki in the wake of the Iraqi Prime Minister's tounge lashing direceted at Sens. Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin. According to the NY Times account, Maliki said: "
One other thing I found noteworthy in the Ahmadinejad statement is that he singles out Saudi Arabia as a "regional friend." It would seem that the Sunni kingdom would be among the nations most opposed to Shiite Iran filling the power vacuum in Iraq. Perhaps his suggestion that he is willing to work with the Saudis is an attempt to assuage any fears they may have.