Saturday, Dec 20, 2014

More US troops to Iraq; special forces considered

President Barack Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP) President Barack Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP)
By: Associated Press | Washington | Posted: June 17, 2014 9:36 am | Updated: June 25, 2014 2:53 pm

U.S. and Iran both want the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stabilized and the Sunni-led insurgency stopped. But in the long run, the United States would like to see an inclusive, representative democracy take hold in Iraq, while predominantly Shiite Iran is more focused on protecting Iraq’s Shiite population and bolstering its own position as a regional power against powerful Sunni Arab states in the Gulf.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said any discussion with Iran would concern ways that Iran could help press al-Maliki’s government to be more inclusive and treat all of Iraq’s religious and ethnic groups equally.

Any talks with Iran “would be to discuss the political component here and our interest in encouraging Iraqi leaders to act in a responsible, nonsectarian way,” she told reporters. “Certainly a discussion of that is something that we would be open to.”

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