In the middle of a very optimistic article about the future of Iraq is this strange characterization of how Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is balancing his relationships with America and Iran.

Maliki has also shown surprising skill on the foreign policy front. Instead of bemoaning the fate of being dependent on both Tehran and Washington, currently two of the world's bitterest enemies, he is using his trumps on both sides. In Washington, he is campaigning for moderation in the nuclear dispute with Tehran, arguing that Iran could otherwise invade southern Iraq. In Tehran, he has promised to do everything in his power to ensure that the upcoming security treaty with the United States will not infringe on Iran's sphere of influence.

So... in Washington he pushes us to moderate our stance towards Iran, and in Tehran is assures Iran that no one will threaten its power. How is that "using his trumps on both sides"? It sounds to me like he's pretty firmly on Iran's side, unless I'm missing something.

(HT: JB.)

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