A stable Iraq is crucial for building up bulwarks that can stop the expansion of Iranian regime influence in the Middle East, Vice President Joe Biden was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
In an interview with the paper, Mr. Biden highlighted the Iranian regime’s efforts to meddle in Iraqi politics, and said the mullahs’ agents handed out money to Iraqi supporters in hopes of affecting the new government.
“They were trying to buy outcomes,” Mr. Biden was quoted by the WSJ as saying. He estimated that the Iranian regime’s investment in that effort was about $100 million, according to the report.
According to the paper, Mr. Biden said, “Iran has a long border” with Iraq and “they will have a relationship.”
“But he argues, in essence, that the formation of this new government means the relationship can be on Iraq’s terms,” said the Wall Street Journal.
The Paper added, “With Iran continuing its fitful move toward nuclear-weapons capability, and probing throughout the Persian Gulf, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories to expand its influence, an Iraq strong enough to resist Iranian coercion is almost as important to American policy as is the path of Iran’s nuclear program.”