Iraq has become a hotbed of regional rivalries. Saudi Arabian enmity towards Maliki was spelled out in a 2007 WikiLeaks cable that reported Saudi King Abdullah describing the Iraqi prime minister as "an Iranian agent." Saudi Arabia, which regards Iran as a dangerous regional rival, has refused to set up an embassy in Baghdad and deliberately sought to exclude Iraq from regional bodies such as the Gulf Cooperation Council.
A scandal unfolding in Denmark over the transfer of Iraqi prisoners by Danish forces to Iraq authorities, even as they knew they would be tortured, threatens to implicate the current Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, formerly prime minister of Denmark from 2001-2009. The scandal first arose in 2010 from documents released by WikiLeaks in the "Iraq War Logs." A November 2010 article at Ice News reported how a memo released by WikiLeaks described an inquiry by "a Danish Defence Ministry official" regarding "what happened at the American Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq after media reports of torture and abuse in 2003."
Saudi Arabia s King Abdullah told US diplomats that by toppling former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, the US had presented Iraq to Iran "on a golden platter." That assessment, recorded in a 2005 embassy cable released by WikiLeaks, was affirmed in the eyes of Saudi Arabia s Sunni Muslim rulers by the outbreak of sectarian squabbling that followed last week s departure of the last US troops from Iraq after almost nine years of occupation.
For more than 20 years, one of the controversies over the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent US-led war against Baghdad is whether the US Ambassador in Iraq --- deliberately or inadvertently --- gave a "green light" to Saddam Hussein to attack the Kuwaitis.
In August 2007, a well-placed Iranian approaches the US Embassy in London with an offer. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), with its "central and preeminent role in the Iranian government", will co-operate with the US in Iraq, but "a U.S. terrorist designation of the IRGC would prevent any such cooperation".
What caught my eye, however, was Talabani's reading of the state of the Iranian regime and of the opposition posed by the Green Movement. Commenting a week after the demonstrations on 27 December and the regime's mobilisation of support three days later, Talabani assesses, "Tt was not that the Iranian regime was weak, but rather that the opposing side was strong....Whereas the demonstrations at first were attacking Iranian President Ahmadinejad, they have now shifted to being against Supreme Leader Khamenei."
An interesting snapshot from December 2009 in Iraq: local sources warn of Iran's attempts to "extend its influence", specifically in the central city and key religious centre of Najaf.
In September 2009, the US Embassy in Baghdad summarised Iraqi perceptions of their neighbours in two cables. Only the first of the cables has been released, to my knowledge, but it was enough for coverage which set aside Turkey, Kuwait, and Syria for a dramatic comparison of the Saudis and Iranians: "Iraqi concerns [over Saudi Arabia]...represent a fundamental divergence from the American and British view of Iran as arch-predator in Iraq."