In an interview broadcast today on CNN, top US Commander in Iraq General Ray Odierno insisted that the Iranian government is working against the forming of a government in Iraq, adding that he thinks they might also be funding “extremists.”
Iran is particularly keen to see a Shi’ite government formed, and the nation is on good terms with outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. They have also hosted some talks between Maliki’s State of Law bloc and the Iraqi National Alliance, whose leader Moqtada al-Sadr is currently living in Iran.
But this partnership is the same one being pushed by US officials recently, as President Obama has petitioned Ayatollah Ali Sistani to impose a (presumably Shi’ite dominated) government on Iraq.
While Iran has maintained that they would work with whatever government is formed in neighboring Iraq, their state media has run a number of unfavorable stories about members of the Iraqiya bloc, suggesting that the bloc’s Sunni members amount to a new Ba’athist bloc and implying that some of them are part of a US plot to set up a rivalry between the two nations.