Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wll make a landmark visit to Baghdad in March for talks with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. This will be the first visit by an Iranian president in decades, particularly since Iraq and Iran engaged in an eight year war in the 1980s when Saddam Hussein was in power. Both nations are strongholds of the Shiite religion. Iraqi government spokesperson, Ali al-Dabbagh, said his nation wants good relations with Iran. The announcement of the visit came hours after Iran cancelled talks with the United States over ways to ensure security in Iraq.
The Bush administration voiced support on Thursday for good relations betwen Iraq and Iran. State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack told reporters “We would look for Iran to play a positive role in iraq’s present as well as its future.” On one hand, Bush rants and raves about Iran support for insurgents, and, on the other hand, he now welcomes Iran assisting the Iraq government. It is obvious, Iraqi government officials want Iran to be a presence in their nation, but it is extremely confusing as to what exactly is the Bush policy toward Iran in Iraq.
The Bush incoherence regarding Iran grows more apparent each day. Essentially, Bush has no policy toward Iran’s presence in Iraq other than he wants them there but really doesn’t want them there. The bottom line is Bush has never developed a comprehenisve foreign policy in the Middle East other than mouthing cliches regarding democracy.