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March 16, 2007

Is Iran Now Stuck In A Quagmire In Iraq?

PJM's Mohammad Fadhil thinks so. Or at least sees encouraging signals that that's the case.

Iran’s “project” in Iraq has recently been facing one setback after another. There are an increasing number of signs that the “project’s” prospects for success, for realizing Iran’s ambitions in Iraq, do no point upward anymore. It simply isn’t having much success lately in undermining Iraq’s emerging democracy through politics and force....

That, at least, was the plan. But a number of interesting developments in Iraq in the last few weeks may mark the beginning of failure for Iran’s plan. The developments listed here were collected from both large and small stories in local Iraq newspapers. Perhaps none of them are significant alone, but putting the pieces together allows one to sense that a sea change is underway in this country and the tide is moving against Iran.

At last Friday’s ceremony in a major Shia mosque by a senior Shia cleric — in Najaf no less — Tehran’s interference in Iraq was roundly criticized, calling it an interference that “is not in Iraq’s interest.”

Another story notes the withdrawal of the Fadheela Party from the Shia bloc (the UIA). The Fadheela leaders said the reason for breaking away from the UIA was because the UIA didn’t act as a patriotic movement. This step stands as a challenge by the Arabic hierarchy of Yaqoubi (the Ayatollah behind Fadheela) to the Iranian-born Sistani and his hierarchy, combined with a call for nonsectarian political process.

There’s also the month-old and continuing Baghdad security operation, and the apparent determination of PM Maliki to confront and disarm all outlaws — especially those with connections with neighboring countries. In addition, the flight of Sadr and many others from Iraq has also dealt a blow to Iran’s influence in Iraq.

Encouraging, though Sadr City's mayor has just been shot, apparently due to his willingness to work with the Coalition.

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posted by Ace at 03:57 PM

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