Remember when Iraq was a sovereign nation?

Bush says he may need to set Maliki straight on Iran.

Published August 9, 2007 3:16PM (EDT)

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, and Maliki reportedly praised Ahmadinejad for Iran's "positive and constructive" role in Iraq.

At a press conference at the White House this morning, George W. Bush said he doubted that it happened that way and that he'd need to set Maliki straight if it did. "If the signal is Iran is constructive, I will have to have a heart to heart with the prime minister because I don't think they're constructive," the president explained. "I don't think in his heart of hearts he thinks they're constructive either."

Bush said no one should be fooled by smiling photographs from the Maliki-Ahmadinejad meeting. "Generally, the way these things work is that you try to be cordial with the person you're with," he said. "You don't want the picture to be kind of you, know, duking it out. OK, put up your dukes. It's an old boxing expression."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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