It has been confirmed that there has been pressure building in Iraq for the Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to stand down from his post. What has surprised many is the fact that the people believed to be closest to him have not been vocal in their opposition to this.
There was the same degree of silence from Tehran when the USA bombed Iraq and there are reports that this is just the beginning of the changes in the position of Iran when it comes to the difficulties between the Middle East and the West.
It seems that it is the Islamic State that is the cause of this and their atrocities are noted and followed closely in Iran. Experts have said that Iran now needs to be more cautious and are at present making advances towards Saudi Arabia.
This is a sharp turnaround for Iran as up until last year they were still supporting Maliki. It is clear that the Iranians are looking to their own interests as they do not want to become embroiled in the sort of issues dominating Iraq at this time.
There have been reports from Iraqi officials both past and present claiming that Iran is offering a counter offensive and hoping to drive back the group formerly known as ISIS. It seems that this however may come with a cost to Maliki as it his inaction that has concerned Iran. He is not well thought of at home or in Iraq and it is believed that this visit and the meetings are the first of a number that are likely to take place.
Shamkhani – a top Iranian official has headed the meetings and has recently made a statement pointing out how wrong it is for leaders to try and cling onto power. He has also congratulated the announcement that there was a candidate for PM of Iraq before he know of Maliki would be continuing or not.
An outcome of this summer’s events could be the renewed friendly relationships between Iran and Saudi Arabia as they are now facing a threat from the same source. The only thing more surprising than this is the apparent cooling of opinions of the USA by Iran. For once there have been kind words for the USA from Iran and also comments made about the threat they both face.
It is a long time since there has been such a lack of criticism from Khamenei regarding Iraq but it is noted that there is still criticism of the State regarding other issues such as nuclear weapons in Iran.