Iran sender signaler om at de støtter sikkerhetspakten USA og Irak er blitt enig om, og som sier at USA skal være ute av Irak innen utgangen av 2011. Syria var negativ.

Det er to iøynefallende grunner: Iran ser frem til at amerikanerne drar, og forhåpninger til den nye presidenten.

Neighboring Syria, a longtime U.S. adversary, blasted the pact, saying it rewarded the Americans. But Iran, a sworn U.S. enemy that had been a bitter critic of the pact, took a surprisingly positive stand.

Iran’s judiciary chief, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, said the Iraqi Cabinet acted «very well» in approving the pact. The Web site of Iran’s state television quoted him as saying he hoped the U.S. will withdraw its troops within the time specified in the deal.

Although there has been no word from the pact’s harshest Iranian critic, hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the shift in Iran’s position may be a reflection of Iran’s hopes of improved relations with the United States after President-elect Barack Obama takes office Jan. 20.

«Iran is now looking for talks with the U.S. and is trying to reduce tensions … and Iraq and the security deal are the most visible example of change in Iran’s attitude toward America,» said Vali Nasr, a prominent U.S.-based expert on Shiite affairs.

Iran sees the continued U.S. presence in Iraq as a threat to its security and is sure to draw satisfaction from Obama’s pledge to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq when he takes office.

Storayatollah Ali al-Sistani har varslet at han ikke lenger motsetter seg avtalen. Den skal opp i nasjonalforsamlingen første gang 24. november.

US-Iraq pact poses test for Iraq’s security forces