Iran won big in Iraq vote, expert says

Iran won big in Iraq vote, expert saysWASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (UPI) — Iran has won a major victory in the Dec. 15 elections in Iraq, a U.S. expert told a Pakistani newspaper.
Robert Dreyfuss, author of "Devil’s Game," a new book that holds the United States the principal architect of Islamist extremism because of its misguided policies, told the Pakistan Daily Times that the "last hope for peace" in Iraq was lost with the victory of the Shiite religious coalition.

He described the victorious Shiite coalition as "a fanatical band of fundamentalist Shiite parties backed by Iran, above all to the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)," the Daily Times said in a report published Wednesday.

The coalition would create a "theocratic bastion state in its southern Iraqi fiefdom and use its power in Baghdad to rule what’s left of the Iraqi state by force," Dreyfuss said.

Dreyfuss told the paper that he could see no "silver lining" in the situation, nor any chance for peace talks among Iraq’s factions, or international mediation. There was no centrist force that could bridge the factional or sectarian divides in Iraq, he said. The next step, he predicted, would be civil war.