News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIraq calls for help against Iran's 'dangerous' influence

Iraq calls for help against Iran’s ‘dangerous’ influence

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AFP: An Iraqi government spokesman Wednesday called on Iraq’s Arab neighbors to help curb Iran’s “dangerous” influence in his country and for the United States to reach an “understanding” with Tehran. WASHINGTON, April 11, 2007 (AFP) – An Iraqi government spokesman Wednesday called on Iraq’s Arab neighbors to help curb Iran’s “dangerous” influence in his country and for the United States to reach an “understanding” with Tehran.

“We are sharing responsibility with the Arabs. We have to work together in order to limit the Iranian influence in Iraq,” the representative Ali al-Dabbagh told reporters during a visit here.

“It is not only (an) Iraqi responsibility, it is a regional responsibility, he said.

“We are urging the United States and Iran to have certain arrangements and understanding. We understand that the influence of Iran is dangerous for us now.”

Washington accuses Iran, a non-Arab and predominantly Shiite Muslim nation, of supporting insurgents fighting US forces in Iraq.

Four years on from the US-led invasion which toppled the late dictator Saddam Hussein, sectarian violence is ravaging Iraq, killing hundreds of people each week.

Several of Iraq’s neighbors including Iran, as well as other world powers, are due to meet in Egypt on May 3-4 for a major conference on the war-torn country.

Al-Dabbagh said he hoped the conference would be a step towards stabilizing the country.

“Iraqi-Arab relations will be improved and upgraded when the Arab states will show a real … effort to support the majority of Iraqis and having a federal, democratic, stable state,” he said.

The United States has begun sending a “surge” of nearly 30,000 extra troops to Iraq to help secure the capital Baghdad and parts of Al-Anbar province.

Al-Dabbagh expressed a wish for US forces to be able to withdraw soon from Iraq, but acknowledged that “the premature withdrawal of the American troops will create a vacuum” for other powers in the country.

“Iran is not only the danger, Al-Qaeda as well is the danger,” he said. The Al-Qaeda network is believed to be behind deadly suicide bombings in Iraq.

Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain will attend the May conference, plus Turkey, the European Union, the Arab League, the United Nations and the G8 group of rich nations.

“It’s the right time now to look to the relations with Iraq beyond the ideological, sectarian or ethnic vision which prevents the Kurds and the Shiites from integrating in the region,” Al-Dabbagh said.

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