Who's In Charge?

The disarray of the U.S.-backed government in Baghad deepened Thursday when the country's Kurdish president and Shiite prime minister took diametrically opposed positions on President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair's allegations of Iranian interference.

Iraqi president Jalal Talabani stood by Blair's side Thursday when the British leader all but accused Iran of supplying Iraqi insurgents with bombs that have killed coalition troops.

"What is clear is that there has been new explosive devices used, not just against British troops, but elsewhere in Iraq," Blair said according to the Daily Telegraph. "The particular nature of these devices lead us either to Iranian elements or to Hizbollah, because they are similar to the devices used by Hizbollah, which is funded and supported by Iran."

Almost simultaneously, Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim Jaafari rejected Blair's charge. In an interview with Islamic Republic of Iran radio, Jafari said "We dismiss all these allegations. Iran and Iraq have developed strengthened ties based on good neighboring and we praise these relations."

By Jefferson Morley |  October 7, 2005; 11:00 AM ET  | Category:  Mideast
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