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Interview: Iraqi VP Adel Abdul Mahdi

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Do you believe the people they caught, one of whom confessed on television, were actually the people behind the bombing?

This I will leave to the security authorities.

And Iran? Is Iranian interference in Iraq a problem?

Well, Iran, other neighboring countries … all came from a certain history of wars, interferences and ways of dealing with a weak Iraq. All this should be stopped. Of course. Iranians are interested in the situation in Iraq as much as Americans and neighboring countries, and Iraq is a victim of regional and international disputes that use Iraq for agendas and all interferences coming from Iran, from Saudi Arabia, from any other neighboring country, from Syria should be stopped by dialogue and diplomatic channels.

Are weapons and fighters coming from Iran a significant problem?

Now it’s less than before. Now we can see less action coming from Iran than before. Now we have a problem from Al Qaeda in Iraq, from former Baathists much more than JAM (Jaish al-Mahdi) or any other group that was working before.

Regarding the Baathists … there’s a sense on the part of Shiite leaders that there is a persistent, ever-present threat by Baathists to return things the way they were and that seems to alienate not just Baathists or former Baathists but the entire Sunni population. Is that a worry to you that the population itself on the political level isn’t reconciled?

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