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Iran, Iraq Agree On Military Cooperation

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami greets Iraqi Defense Minister Sa'dun al-Dulaymi on 7 July 7 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iran said today that it will complete a military and anti-terrorist cooperation agreement with Iraq that will include Iranian help in training Iraq's armed forces.

Iraqi Defense Minister Sa'dun al-Dulaymi told a joint news conference with Iranian Defense and Armed Forces Logistics Minister Ali Shamkhani that he is visiting Iran, in his words, "to ask forgiveness for what Saddam Hussein has done." Iraq and Iran fought a bitter war in the 1980s during Hussein's rule.

Asked about possible U.S. opposition to Iran-Iraq military cooperation, al-Dulaymi said: "No one can prevent us from reaching an agreement."

He pledged also that Iraq will not permit any country to attack Iran from Iraqi territory.

Today's announcement appeared to be a substantial shift in Iraq policy toward Iran. Last year, Iraq curtly refused an Iranian offer to help train Iraqi border guards.


For RFE/RL's full coverage of developments in Iraq, see "The New Iraq"