Iraq’s deputy PM chides U.S. and Iran: Kim Gamel, AP

‘I have to admit Iraq has become a zone of conflict and competition between various regional players and international players,” Saleh said. “The tensions are there and undeniably there is a spillover effect that complicates Iraqi political and security transition.”

“We are grateful to the United States for the effort on our behalf to overcome tyranny. But at the end of the day we are accountable to our own people, our own constituents who demand of us better security and better services,” he said.

As for Iran, he said, good relations with the Shiite theocracy were important for Iraq given the countries sit side by side and that Iran gave shelter to many Iraqi dissidents during Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated regime and who now wield power.

But, he said, “The failure of this present political process in Iraq will mean chaos in Iraq and ultimately may well mean restoration of the status quo in the form of tyranny in one way or another.”

Prime Minister Saleh


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