Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began the second day of his state visit to Iraq on Monday. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called Iran’s stance toward Iraq “helpful,” contradicting his American allies.
The entire love fest of Ahmadinejad’s visit underscores how George W. Bush has inadvertently opened the Iranian sluice gates. Iran is the regional victor in the Iraq War.
On Sunday, Ahmadinejad had jousted with Bush long-distance, saying that there hadn’t been any terrorism in that part of the Middle East before Bush invaded Iraq.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said he hoped Ahmadinejad would stay in Iraq “a long time.”
Talabani and al-Maliki pledged to try to expel the over 3,000 members of the Iranian terrorist group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from their base at Camp Ashraf in Diyala Province. Although the US says that the MEK has been disarmed, the likelihood is that the real reason for US protection of this group is that it spies for the US on the ayatollahs in Tehran.
Ahmadinejad also called for cooperation in repressing the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), a branch of which has allegedly attacked Iran. But Ahmadinejad implicitly critiqued Turkey’s recent incursion into Iraq, saying that whatever steps the neighbors take to fight the PKK, they should respect Iraqi sovereignty.
Al-Hayat notes in Arabic that Ahmadinejad is planning to go on a visitation to Najaf and Karbala and to consult with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.