They are already "pro-Iranian" - the only question is to what degree they will be beholden to them.
<p>On one level, yes. But, I gather that Sistani and the Iranian mullahs come from two different branches of Shia thought with some rather wide differences in philosophy -- as evidenced by Sistani's reluctance to have clerics directly involved in government roles. </p>
<p>Everything I've read from Sistani indicates a somewhat pragmatic approach. If that's the case, then I doubt that he views Iran as being terribly successful in providing a higher standard of living for its people. If he were to provide the leadership to grow Iraq's economy, he could actually put a lot of pressure on the Iranians.</p>
<p>At the end of the day, it really doesn't much matter. He's going to run the show, one way or another, so we might as well make the most of it. </p>
<p>Now, if the goal for the invasion of Iraq is what I think it was all along (permanent large scale military bases), then Bush needs to start shooting straight with the American people. This fantasy of a western-style democracy isn't credible enough to continue the huge cost (in US lives and dollars).</p>