RE “US influence in Iraq is dwindling’’ (Page A20, Oct. 22): It defies common sense to write that, because Iraq is turning to its neighbors, US influence is dwindling. Iraq shares a border with Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. It also has strong religious and cultural ties with Iran dating back several centuries. Any Iraqi government, to be successful, must enjoy a close relationship with its neighbors.
The Shi’ite majority is in the final process of forming a government. As suggested on so many occasions by Vice President Biden, all parties will have an opportunity to play a constructive role. But it will be uniquely Iraqi. That is the meaning of sovereignty. Iraqis want to get their country back, beholden to no one. That does not mean they are turning their back on the United States.
Fariborz S. Fatemi, McLean, Va.
The writer is a former professional staff member with the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.