An Iranian ice cream parlor being built yards from the US Embassy in Baghdad's "Green Zone" symbolizes the shifting balance of power in Iraq, the Washington Post finds. Ice Pack—an Iranian chain that says it wants to challenge American fast food's worldwide dominance—already has other branches in Baghdad and plans more elsewhere in Iraq, while American chains like Starbucks and McDonald's are nowhere to be seen.
"We wanted to open a McDonald's here, but we were afraid someone would blow it up," the owner of the Ice Pack franchise for Iraq says. "A lot of Iraqis want to try new products, and McDonald's is really enthusiastic to come here because they know if they come they will make a fortune. But Iraqis are too scared." Iran, his partner added, "is easy. Transportation is easy. Customs are easy." Iraq's businessmen, like its politician, are keenly aware that they will be dealing with their powerful neighbor long after the last US troops leave, the Post notes.