The heart of Wertheimer's talk with Katzman is the Iraqi Occupation Prime Minister Maliki's call for a timetable for withdrawal. Can you guess where the pressure for such a ridiculous demand is coming from? Iran! What a surprise. Katzman has the following to say:
"I think he is getting pressure from the Iranians. Iran views this as a US attempt to basically complete or contiue its encirlcement of Iran....as a US attempt to secure bases from which the United States can easily conduct an attack...be able to send covert operatives and special forces into Iran...and it's trying to mainly work through the Sadr faction to undermine the agreement."There's that canard about the Sadr movement being nothing but an Iranian proxy - a bit of doublespeak that simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny. As Gary Kamiya notes in his Salon article, which relies a lot on Juan Cole's expertise, Iran is far closer to Maliki's Supreme Council than it is to the Sadr movement.
You also have to love Katzman's arrogance. He says, "several blocks in the Parliament do not want this agreement at all, or at the very least, are arguing that it's an infringement of Iraqi sovereignty - although I suspect that's not the real reason why they oppose it." Yeah, having over a hundred thousand foreign troops in your country for years who are allowed to mount operations without your government's approval and who are not accountable to your government for crimes and atrocities would hardly be an infringement on a country's sovereignty.
It is interesting to read Katzman's interview with CFR from November 2003. He seems to have become far more favorable of occupation and anti-Iran spin than he was back then.