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Will US allow Iranian President to visit Baghdad on official visit?

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ZAA NKWETA, PRESENTER: The Iraqi government announced Thursday that they’ve invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Baghdad for an official state visit on March 2. The invitation came from Iraq’s president and prime minister, both key backers of the US occupation. The Real News spoke with Phyllis Bennis, senior analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies and currently a fellow at the Transnational Institute in the Netherlands.

PHYLLIS BENNIS, SENIOR ANALYST, INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES: This is going to present a very interesting conundrum for the US, because they have to either give tacit approval, since they control the airspace, they control the airport, and they control the military situation in Iraq through the occupation, or they’re going to have to tell their clients, if you will, in Iraq—the Iraqi president and prime minister—that they may not welcome the Iranian president. This is a very difficult dilemma for the US, because if they do that, they are acknowledging in a very public way that Iraq under the US occupation is indeed not a sovereign country.


Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

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Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow and the Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC.  Her books include Understanding ISIS & the New Global War on Terror, and the latest updated edition of Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer.