John Kerry Is in Iraq Right Now

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Photo: Pool/2013 Getty Images

The new secretary of State made a surprise visit to Iraq to talk to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki about building consensus between the country's Shiite-led government and the Kurdish and Sunni factions protesting against it, as well as the importance of halting Iran's arms shipments to Syria via Iraqi airspace. Last year, Hillary Clinton got Iraq to pledge to at least inspect the contents of the Iranian planes, but U.S. officials believe that only two flights — which they say occur daily — have have been checked since then. After his meeting, Kerry told reporters that discussion of the shipments had been "very spirited."