The Los Angeles Times quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Ramzy Mardini on US attitudes toward the leadership of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki:

Tehran reportedly dispatched Gen. Qassem Suleimani, commander of the elite paramilitary Quds Force, to help coordinate Iraq’s military response to the insurgents, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed this week to defend Shiite holy sites in Iraq from “killers and terrorists.”

“Washington can’t oust Maliki without Tehran’s consent, and they [Iranians] are unlikely to ditch their man unless his replacement is someone closer to their interests,” said Ramzy Mardini, an Iraq expert based in Jordan with the nonpartisan Atlantic Council.

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