By: Meir Javedanfar
In his meeting with President Bush today, Iraq’s president Jalal Talebani said “I’m glad to tell you Mr President that our relations with our neighbors is improved very well with Turkey, with Syria, with Iran with the Arab countries” . He went on to say “The relation is normal now and we have no problem with any of those countries. In contrary, many many new ambassadors are coming to our country from Arab countries”.
The Iraqi president may be getting ahead of himself. Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are still interested in having a slice of the Iraqi pie. They haven’t given up their ambition to have influence in the country and are willing to work with their local allies to get it.
The only reason why they are sending ambassadors and working with Talebani is that they are becoming concerned about the departure of the US from Iraq. To avoid the country falling apart and into chaos, which would affect them, for now, they are helping the Iraqi central government. Once the US has left and the situation is suitable, all of the aforementioned countries are likely to restart where they left off, using all means possible, political, and military.