Strange bedfellows

As the U.S. considers withdrawing its support from Iraq's Sunnis, Iran is reportedly arming the Shiites with whom the U.S. may side.

Published December 1, 2006 8:13PM (EST)

Talk about poor timing; as an unnamed "senior defense official" leaks to ABC News a report that says Iraq's Shiite militias are being armed by Iran, the Washington Post reports that the U.S. is considering dropping efforts to reach out to Iraq's Sunni population and focus solely on the Kurds and Shiites.

There's more than a little irony to this. If the sides in Iraq's civil war shake out as it now appears they will, then the U.S. will find itself allied with Iran's client militias and siding against historical U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, which has recently been making noises indicating that it would enter on the side of the Sunnis. That's, to say the least, probably not the outcome originally envisioned by supporters of the war.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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