The agreement in principal between Tehran and Washington to hold talks over Iraq means that there is a “piece of the Iraqi pie” that both sides feel they have the right to control, and which in all likelihood spans the entire country. It seems that the dispute continues to revolve around the size of the "pie" and how the slices should be disposed of.

This goes to prove what has been clear for the past four years, which is that Iraq is not a proper state, that it is run by a government unworthy of the name since it was elected illegitimately and doesn't represent the people, that Iraq lacks a proper constitution under which to organize its daily affairs and that no "fatwa" is going to succeed in overcoming its difficulties.

That said, it seems that the armed factions inside Iraq - with the exclusion of al-Qaeda - ignore the need to maintain a balance between Washington and Tehran. In terms of the political horizon, these armed groups are focused on negotiations with the U.S. military in determining Iraq's future, but they lack a sufficient appreciation of the need to deal with the Iranian Party in this equation.

Getting back to Tehran's recent request for talks with Washington in regard to Iraq’s security, we are aware of the condemnation hovering over Tehran due to its involvement in Iraq's instability. This is because Iran, for its own purposes, wants something in exchange for restoring Iraqi security in some kind of deal with Washington.

[Editor's Note: The author says that Tehran asked Washington to hold talks. That is the opposite of what is being reported elsewhere. Most media organizations report that Washington sought talks with Iran].

According to an Arabic proverb, this is “an excuse worse than guilt”; many of the facts that Iranian leaders have tried to keep hidden are now coming to light, and it is now clear that Iran has been the key benefactor of recent events, including the dismantling of Iraq’s infrastructure and its mighty army, and a rebuilding process that is based on division, fragmentation and the allocation of benefits to either side [Shiite and Sunni] in a sick-minded attempt to split the country that has thus-far failed to achieve its ultimate goal [a partition of the country, with a Shiite-dominated, Iranian-friendly southern Iraqi state].

Perhaps the greatest success of Iran's strategy has been the infighting that has so dominated discussions over the Constitution, and that a number of federal agencies now operate under the influence of militias, factions and various [foreign] intelligence agencies.

The fact that the American administration is limiting talks with Iran to the ambassadorial level confirms that there will be no significant results on the ground. The reality is that Iraqis must confront their fate alone - be it in death or as refugees.

It is now evident that until the moment the Americans withdraw, the Iraq issue will remain nothing but a plaything in the cat and mouse game between Iran and the United States.