News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqShia neighbours improve ties

Shia neighbours improve ties

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The Times: Baghdad’s increasingly close ties with Tehran — accused by Washington of “interference” in Iraq’s internal affairs — will receive an important boost today when Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraq’s interim Prime Minister, leads a high-level delegation to Iran. The visit by the conservative religious Shia leader and seven of his senior ministers is aimed at boosting trade and collaboration on water resources, as well as border security and military co-operation. The Times

From James Hider

BAGHDAD’S increasingly close ties with Tehran — accused by Washington of “interference” in Iraq’s internal affairs — will receive an important boost today when Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraq’s interim Prime Minister, leads a high-level delegation to Iran.

The visit by the conservative religious Shia leader and seven of his senior ministers is aimed at boosting trade and collaboration on water resources, as well as border security and military co-operation.

The visit will be watched carefully by Washington, which considers Iran a sponsor of terrorism. Zalmay Khalilzad, the new US Ambassador to Iraq, recently renewed warnings to Iran to keep out of Iraq’s affairs, fearing that a weakened Baghdad is susceptible to meddling by its old foe.Mr Khalilzad said this week: “We want to see these two countries have good relations with each other.

“But good relations also mean there is not interference in Iraqi affairs. Good relations with regard to all the neighbours means not to seek to dominate particular Iraqi institutions or Iraqi areas.”

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