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Doubts on Maliki pledge to Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Tehran
Tehran has concerns about the US military's future in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has reassured Iran about a proposed security pact being negotiated between Iraq and the US. He told Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran that Iran would not be the victim of any security deal between Iraq and the US.

While one Iraqi paper says the visit could prove to be a turning point in ties with Iran, one Iranian paper dismisses the security treaty completely.

In the wider Arab press, pan-Arab papers say it is unrealistic for Mr Maliki to try to form an alliance with Tehran while keeping Washington on board.

IRAN'S E'TEMAD-E-MELLI

Maliki's visit to Iran is crucially important from a political point of view... The US is trying to impose a security deal on Baghdad... It should be noted that any security deal with Iraq can be meaningful only with the constructive cooperation of its neighbours.

IRAN'S IRAN

The security agreement between Iraq and America is actually a modern slavery agreement between the two countries and a new treaty of capitulation in the region...

IRAQ's AL-SABAH AL-JADID

Maliki's visit to Iran could be the last chance for a rational settlement of any differences and a final dissipation of any misunderstanding that may still exist between us and our big neighbour... there is nothing in the lexicon of political pragmatism that will help us evade the consequences of living next door to this neighbour as recent history has shown with such terrible clarity.

BASSIM AL-SHEIKH IN IRAQ'S AL-DUSTUR

Maliki's delegation will be presenting the Iranian side with irrefutable evidence of Iranian interference in Iraqi domestic affairs... In this light, the visit could prove to be a watershed in Iraqi-Iranian relations, especially now that the covert game Iran has been playing in Iraq has become all too overt, with very few hidden cards left in Tehran's hand.

GHASSAN SHARBIL IN PAN-ARAB AL-HAYAT

It is possible for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to promise that he cannot accept his country being turned into a base to attack Iran and other neighbouring countries... But this will not end the continued military presence of the US in Iraq or constitute a strong objection to Iran's influence and transformation into a strong state in the region.

ABD-AL-BARI ATWAN IN PAN-ARAB AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, who is currently visiting Iran, is facing difficult options for the first time since he assumed power. He is desperate to appease Iran without losing the United States at the same time...It is illogical for Mr Maliki and his allies, especially the [Shiai] Islamic Supreme Council led by Abd-al-Aziz al-Hakim, to think that he can form an alliance with Tehran against the US and remain in power.

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