"In fact the US raid could have had even more significant consequences if the Americans had captured the senior Iranian official they were targetting. Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of the Kurdish president Massoud Barzani, says "they were after Mohammed Jafari, the deputy chairman of Iran's National Security Council." It is a measure of the difficulty America has in getting its close allies in Iraq, notably the Kurds, to join it in confronting Iran that Mohammed Jafari, the powerful Iranian security official they were trying to abduct, was in Arbil as part of an Iranian delegation. He had just visited Mr Barzani in his mountain-top headquarters at Salahudin and earlier he met with Iraqi President Jalal Tabani in Dokan in eastern Kurdistan.
"The political links between Iran and Iraq will be difficult to sever."