I’ve been predicting this since at least 2006:
June 27, 2006: “Of course, Ahmadinejad may be jumping the gun a bit as far as that is concerned, but he is certainly doing all he can to bring into being a Shi’ite client state in Iraq.”
September 13, 2006: “Here we see looming in Iraq the Shi’ite client state of Iran that the U.S. has unwittingly helped put into place with its short-sighted democracy project.”
October 31, 2006: “Is al-Maliki on the road to creating the Shi’ite client state that the Iranians have been trying to foster in Iraq for quite some time now?”
February 11, 2007: “Iran continues its efforts to create a Shi’ite client state in Iraq.”
June 10, 2008: “Or are U.S. troops the main obstacle to Iraq’s becoming a full-fledged client state of Iran?”
November 12, 2008: “Very soon now the President of the United States and the President of Iran will sit down, without preconditions, and hash this out, and clear everything up before Iraq turns fully into the Shi’ite client state that the Iranians covet.”
July 1, 2009: “Their goal of creating a Shi’ite client state is closer than ever to being realized.”
July 30, 2009: “Was this what we have been fighting for in Iraq all these years? An Iranian Shi’ite client state in Baghdad?”
“Iraq PM in Tehran on key political visit,” by Ali Akbar Dareini for Associated Press, October 18 (thanks to Maxwell):
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran gave its clearest nod of support to Iraq’s prime minister Monday as he seeks to line up backing from key neighbors in his bid to remain in office after a more than seven-month political limbo in Baghdad.
Iran plays a critical role in Iraqi affairs and the Shiite-led coalition of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is making his first visit to Tehran since Iraq’s indecisive March elections.
Iran has the power to sway al-Maliki’s political fortunes through its deep ties to Iraq’s major Shiite factions, which have dominated government offices and security forces since the U.S.-led invasion toppled Iran’s arch foe Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Al-Maliki’s coalition is close to securing enough allies for a majority in parliament despite finishing second in March elections behind a Sunni-backed bloc. But al-Maliki is also busy sending out feelers around the region to weigh his support.
The signals from Iran seemed strong.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Rauf Sheibani said al-Maliki was “one of the suitable choices” to lead the next Iraqi government — the clearest indication that Tehran wants al-Maliki to stay in power….