Nouri Al-Maliki's visit to Iran is supposedly an effort to shore up support to form a Government in Iraq. But, there seems a great deal more than meets the eye.
The more moderate and secular Ayad Allawi has a slight lead in the Iraqi elections and he should form a Government, but Al-Maliki has gone to pledge his unflinching loyalty to the Ayatollahs in Iran. If he is successful in forming a Government, the Iranians will have an enormous influence over Iraq.
After his recent triumphant visit to Lebanon, someone said that Ahmedinajad has the game, set, but not quite the match, but with these developments, he may even have the match. The rousing reception he received in Lebanon not just from Hezbollah, but also from the Lebanese people, their President and Prime Minister speaks volumes of U.S. policy failure in Lebanon. The Bush Administration played a dangerous game in Lebanon. Blaming Syria for Rafik Hariri's murder was a clever ploy and for a while it played well with the Lebanese people and it even got Syrian troops out of Lebanon. But now that the U.N. inquiry commission appears to have exonerated Syria, the U.S. intentions are viewed rather suspiciously in Lebanon.
It appears that U.S. has been played again and again in The Middle East by Israel. First in Iraq by providing it bogus intelligence on WMDs and egging it on to invade Iraq and then in Lebanon by falsely framing Syrians for Hariri's murder.
The net result of it all is that today, Iran has a huge influence in Lebanon and it will also end up with enormous influence over Iraq. This is exactly what Iran wanted and the U.S. may have unknowingly handed Iraq on a platter to Iran.