Ahmadinejad gets “hero’s welcome” in Baghdad

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received what the United Arab Emirates’ Gulf News called a “hero’s welcome” in Baghdad, where Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the Islamic Republic’s recent approach towards his country has been “extremely helpful.” He described his discussions with Ahmadinejad as “friendly, positive and full of trust,” adding that his landmark visit to Baghdad sends a positive message to neighboring countries to reinforce their ties with Iraq. He also pledged to crack down on Iranian guerillas operating from Iraqi territory, including the Mujahedeen Khalq Organization (MKO) and the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK). Slogans on the walls of houses and public markets in Baghdad’s Sadr City welcomed Ahmadinejad and hailed him as a hero. Signs in Sunni neighborhoods condemned him as a villain and architect of Iraq’s sectarian violence. (Gulf News, UAE, March 3; Press TV, Iran, March 2)

Talk about Phyrric victories—and certainly a vindication for Washington’s “pragmatists” who have viewed the Iraq adventure as a reckless gamble…

See our last posts on Iran and Iraq and the sectarian cleansing.