Iran to the Rescue - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Iran to the Rescue

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: "Iraq is a sovereign country, and we will not allow anyone to talk about it as if it belongs to this country or that." The U.S. is clearly in a bind. If it doesn't put pressure on the Iraqi government to make progress on the political front, any military success will be largely wasted. If, on the other hand, the U.S. puts too much pressure on the government, it may trigger a backlash and have the unintended consequence of having Maliki run to the welcoming arms of Iran.

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.  

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