Iran was instrumental in forging an alliance between Iraq’s Nouri al-Maliki and Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the Guardian reports. The U.K.-based newspaper says Iran brokered a deal with Syria, Lebanon, leaders of Shia Islam and other regional neighbors that position al-Maliki as frontrunner to assume leadership in Iraq. The deal also makes Iraq a buffer to U.S. interests as the Western nation attempts to position itself as a civilian partner to the Middle Eastern country, the Guardian says.
Meanwhile, the Iranian government said it is ready to resume nuclear-related talks with the European Union by November, All Headline News says. The announcement came a few days after EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton offered to restart talks with the country.