Odierno: Iran Working Against Iraqi Democracy

General Insists Iran 'Fears' Strong Democracy

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.”

I think they don’t want to see Iraq turn into a strong democratic country,” Odierno insisted, adding that “they clearly want to see a certain type of government that is formed here.”

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.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.