The media did not pay much attention to the event that was really important for modern-day international relations. For the first time in a decade Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Iraq. A reason for this negligence is obvious: Ahmadinejad’s visit to Baghdad is only one of the most important stages of the forthcoming Iranian-Iraqi cooperation, which does not testify to successful foreign policies of the US administration.
The leaders of the Western states, including the USA, visit Baghdad secretly. Iran’s president, whose visit to Baghdad was no secret at all, said that US officials should realize the real state of affairs in the region and added that the Iraqis did not like the USA.
It is hard to say to which extent the Iraqis like Ahmadinejad, but they greeted the president of Iran with honors. Negotiations were conducted in a friendly atmosphere. A person ignorant of the development of the bilateral negotiations may wonder how the USA feels about these negotiations, for the USA is the stronghold of the present Iraqi state.
German reporter noted that it was impossible not to hear Washington grinding its teeth. But what can the USA do? Its operations in Iraq were so “successful” that even US diplomats were ordered to negotiate with their Iranian counterparts.
Baghdad has more reasons for friendly relations with Teheran than for hostility. Of course, American accusations of Iran supporting resistance in Iraq look quite convincing. But Iraq virtually remains the state of civil war. What may seem to be the support of terrorists may in fact turn out to be the armament of righteous groups in their struggle against invaders.
From the political point of view, all members of the ruling Iraqi political elite sympathize with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The sympathy appeared when Teheran supported Iranian opposition to Saddam Hussein. Both Shiites and Kurds supported Iran during the lengthy Iran-Iraq war, while the USA helped Sunni Saddam. To terror of the USA, even Kurdistan is on good terms with Iran.
The economic point of the present cooperation is also of great importance: the neighboring states are ready to help Baghdad. For example, during the present visit an agreement on lending one billion dollars was signed. Experts say that Iran was very helpful in solving Iraq’s problems by supplying essential commodities and helping to restore the nation’s oil industry.
It will be interesting to see how Ahmadinejad’s visit to Iraq will affect home policies of the two states. Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki enjoys a stable position (even the USA can do nothing since all the other candidates for his post are much worse), although not all groups of the Iraqi society approve the cooperation with Iran. Sunnis and Shiites who were not influenced by Teheran are especially discontented; there are quite a lot of people in Iran who remember Hussein’s barbarous wars.
Translated by Julia Bulygina