Det er oppstått en konflikt mellom USA og Irak fordi Irak tillater Iran å fly over irakisk territorium. Amerikanerne er sikre på at det er våpen og militære om bord. Den irakiske regjering viser til iranske forsikringer om at det er humanitær hjelp.
Transporten truer med å alvorlig forkludre forholdet mellom USA og Irak.
Nouri al-Malikis regjering forlanger at USA kan fremlegge bevis. Det vil ikke amerikanerne, det ville avslørt deres overvåkingskapasitet. USA viser til to Sikkerhetsrådsresolusjoner som krever at medlemsland kontrollerer last fra Iran, hvis det er mistanke om våpen.
The State Department said Wednesday that Iraq has an obligation under United Nations Security Council resolutions to insist that Iranian planes that are suspected of flying arms to Syria over Iraqi airspace land so the cargo can be inspected.
The flights were suspended in March, according to American officials, after objections by the United States. But they resumed in July after an explosion killed several senior members of the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. The officials said that American intelligence assessments indicated that the flights were carrying weapons and military equipment.
“It’s something we’ve raised with the Iraqis in great detail,” said Patrick Ventrell, the deputy State Department spokesman, referring to the flights. The simplest solution, he added, would be for the Iraqis “to require these aircraft to land and be inspected in Iraqi territory.”
Nouri al-Maliki gjentok onsdag at hans regjering bare kan tro iranerne på deres ord, inntil det motsatte er bevist, og det er USA har bevisbyrden. Tilfellet ville at en gruppe senatorer var i Bagdad, blant dem flere som støtter amerikansk hjelp til opprørerne i Syria, og hos dem falt dette budskapet i svært dårlig jord.
Three senators who have been strong advocates of American support for Iraq — Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut; John McCain, Republican of Arizona; and Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina — also sought to reinforce the administration’s case in a closed-door meeting with Mr. Maliki in Baghdad on Tuesday.
Mr. McCain said in a telephone interview from Iraq that he had warned the Iraqi prime minister that the flights were a serious issue for the United States and would “have an effect on our relations” if they did not stop.
Mr. Lieberman said that it was his understanding that the Iranian flights to Syria were occurring “almost on a daily basis.”
Mr. Graham added that if the Maliki government was seen as being “complicit with Iran, it will be difficult to get Congressional support” for American technical assistance and aid programs in Iraq. But he told reporters in Baghdad that the Maliki government might be less willing to stand up to Iran because of the growing ambivalence over Iraq in the United States.
Nouri al-Maliki er trolig under et sterkt iransk press og det vil ha omkostninger å si nei til overflyvningene. Men viktigst er nok at al-Maliki deler Irans frykt for å bli omringet a sunni-dominerte stater.
But Mr. Maliki and his Shiite-dominated government may have their own reasons for acquiescing to the flights, some American officials say. The Iraqi prime minister, they say, may see Mr. Assad’s possible fall from power as a potential setback that might lead to his encirclement by Sunni Arab states and embolden his Sunni and Kurdish rivals at home.