Commentary about the recent conference in Tehran by the West interpreted the disagreement amongst the participants, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Turkey as Iran being out of step with all others and isolated. However, the others, those critical of Syria, were all Sunni, Iran being the lone Shiite country represented. One wonders what Iraq’s shiite dominated regime would have had to say.
In that regard, following on that we have the visit by the US congressional war hawks, Liebermann and Graham accusing the Iraqis of allowing Iran to use Iraqi airspace to transport goods to Syria. They suspect the goods are weapons but the Iraqis are standing by the Iranians.
As I have written in previous blogs, the Iraqi government, being dominated by Shiites regard Iran as both a spiritual home and ally more important than any loyalty to the US. In event of an attack on Iran by Israel, would Iraq sanction or tolerate overflights by Israel? What would their reaction be if their airspace were violated by the Israelis? If push came to shove, I suspect Iraq’s Shia would side with Iran. Iraq is fast moving out of the US orbit.
This highlights the issue I raised in my blog post of 28 August and the Globe Mail article about the cleavage of the Sunni and Shiite throughout the Middle East. The conflict in Syria has gone beyond removing Assad and has become instead an age-old battle between Sunni and the Alawite Shia.