No-fly zone over Iraq set to expire, opening shortest route from Israel to Iran

A key clause in a U.S. military agreement creating a no-fly zone over Iraq is set to run out at the end of the year. The clause, inserted in the agreement following Iranian pressure on Iraq's Shi'ite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, was apparently a way to thwart an Israeli air attack on Iran.

The agreement between the United States and Iraq, signed in November 2008, is due to run out at the end of this year when U.S. forces withdraw from Iraq under the timetable set by President Barack Obama (although thousands of advisers will remain ).

Clause 27 of the agreement states that, if asked, the United States must thwart threats to Iraq's sovereignty and not let its land, territorial waters or airspace be used for attacks on other countries....

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