Iraq's Role In Iranian Sanctions
I do believe that the abolition of nuclear weapons is important enough that threats to that goal must be met with more than talk but action, and in the case of Iran economic sanctions is far preferable to any military hits, but without the cooperation of Iraq the sanctions simply will not work. We created a situation with the invasion where now a very pro-Iranian Shiite government is in control in Iraq, and they will smuggle whatever refined oil or other supplies are needed into their neighboring country. President Talabani didn't say this yesterday, but he didn't have to. I agree with Talabani that negotiation and diplomacy should take precedence, and this week Iran will meet with world powers to discuss their nuclear ambitions and more. But he goes further, saying that sanctions will not work to change policy, and that Iraq will not allow any country airspace to bomb Iran. If you wonder how they plan to enforce that, consider the 140,000 US troops on Iraqi soil and how precarious their situation, should the Iraqi leadership turn on them.
It was well-known that Iran won the Iraq war, and now we're starting to see the consequences. As long as our forces remain in Iraq, we cannot afford to use the kind of pressure some think would be necessary to get Iran to comply. As Juan Cole says, "Somehow I don't think this is what Bush was going for when he invaded Iraq."