Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
On a side note, I'm surprised Iraq is taking such a protective posture toward Iran. There is still NO love between those two countries.
My guess is it's lip service so as to not appear to be complicit with Israel, a cardinal sin among Arab nations.
I think you are quite wrong. The Shi'ite groups now in the majority in the Iraqi government have shown themselves to be closely allied with Iran. Ahmadinejad was treated like a hero when he visited in 2008:
Unlike the prostrate power it was in 1988, Tehran today is the most influential regional actor in Iraq. Its clout in Iraq extends across the board: in economic, political, security, and religious ties that deepen by the day -- despite the ongoing presence of some 158,000 U.S. troops nearly five years after the invasion. So influential is Iran in Iraq's Shi'ite regions that a leading British daily ran a darkly humorous headline over a story last year about the southern city of Al-Basrah: "Welcome to Tehran."
"If you travel to southern Iraq, you'll see it is the only place in the world, apart from Iran itself, where the Iranian currency, the rial, is used," says Anoushiravan Ehtashami, a professor of international relations at Britain's University of Durham. "That demonstrates Tehran's economic influence on its neighbor. Today, many personalities in Iraq's military and religious circles are those who were expelled from Iraq or threatened by Saddam Hussein. Iran offered them asylum and freedom. Some of them have families in Iran. It was obvious that when these people took power after Saddam, they wouldn't look south, north, or west. They would look east -- and they would see Iran."