From the Editors of the New York Times: Baghdad is showing a distressing willingness to side with the region’s most repressive regimes, not just Iran but also Iran’s chief ally, the brutal Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
In recent months, the United States has accused Iraq of allowing Iran to fly weapons through its airspace to Syria . . .
Last week, Reuters disclosed a Western intelligence report that said the supply operation was far bigger and more systematic than first thought, involving the transport of “tens of tons” of arms and military personnel on civilian aircraft almost daily. The report also said Iranian trucks were moving overland through Iraq to Syria.
Iraqi officials deny the charges. . . .
But the Obama administration says that after a pause, Baghdad allowed the flights to resume in July. Since then, every American official to visit Iraq has made the case that the arms shipments must stop, according to Robert Beecroft, the new ambassador to Baghdad. On Friday, Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. stepped up the pressure with a telephone call to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. Given Iraq’s recalcitrance, Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, was right to warn last week that American aid could be reconsidered if Iraq failed to change course. . . .
On Saturday, an Iraqi government spokesman said authorities will start searching Syrian-bound Iranian planes if they have reason for suspicion. (graphic: Shutterstock)