“Iran’s role in Iraq is a by-product of U.S.-Iran relations,” Karim Sadjadpour, an associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, told IPS. “When U.S-Iran relations have stalled, Iran’s role in Iraq would likely be unconstructive and when U.S.-Iran relations are cooperative, then Iran’s role in Iraq might be cooperative. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the U.S. has to pull out from Iraq.”
While U.S. officials accuse Iran of destabilising Iraq, some analysts say the fact that the sectarian violence in Iraq has diminished — although not extinguished — since the U.S. troops ‘surge’ is partially because of Iran’s positive role in supporting al-Maliki’s government, a fact that is ignored by the U.S.
“The security situation has improved, not simply because of the surge, but because of a host of other factors, including the successful completion of ethnic cleansing in key areas and America’s success in buying-off former Sunni insurgents,” Zahedi told IPS.