Iran has pledged to give Iraq a $1 billion loan and help with tackling insecurity, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said at the end of a ground-breaking visit to the Islamic state.
Talabani's three-day visit followed heightened accusations by Western and some Iraqi officials that Iran was linked to insurgent attacks in Iraq. Iran has repeatedly denied such accusations, "we are very sorry for what is happening in Iraq at the moment, and we hope that the establishment of a sovereign state in Iraq comes quickly," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, asserting Iran was "thanking God that our brothers in arms are now holding high positions in Iraq."
Talabani stressed the improving political and commercial ties between two countries which fought a bitter 1980-1988 war in which hundreds of thousands died. "All the officials I met said there are no limits to Iran's support for the Iraqi nation," he told reporters. "Iranian officials openly said they want the establishment of security in Iraq ... They said: 'Your security is our security,"' he said.
Talabani added that Iran had pledged to give Iraq a $1-billion loan and $10 million in aid to help with reconstruction efforts. He gave no details and Iranian officials could not immediately be reached to elaborate. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Talabani on Tuesday that foreign troops were the cause of violence and that Iraqi authorities should demand a time table for a pull-out.
I have no idea if the money really is forthcoming or not, but if it is, I can’t help speculating that we will then see an upsurge or escalation in insurgent activities in Iraq from its present level. I have to say that with friends like the Iranians - who needs enemies?