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Iran's New Iraqi Ambassador Meets Talabani

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (file photo) (RFE/RL) May 10, 2006 -- Hasan Kazemi Qomi met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Baghdad today as Iran's first ambassador to Iraq in some 20 years.

Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted Talabani as telling Qomi that upgrading relations will "open a new page in the history" of the two countries. Talabani also said that Baghdad wants Iran to help Iraq with its reconstruction efforts.

Iran and Iraq withdrew their ambassadors just before the start of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. Since then, diplomatic affairs between the two have been handled at the level of charge d'affaires.

Iraqi and U.S. officials have repeatedly accused Iran of interfering in Iraq's internal affairs. Iran has always denied the accusations.


Iraq And Iran

Iraq And Iran

Iranian Shi'a protesting the Golden Mosque Bombing in Iraq on February 24

WHAT IS GOING ON? On March 8, RFE/RL's Washington office hosted a roundtable discussion on relations between Iraq and Iran. Although most analysts agree that Iran has been actively involved in Iraq since the U.S.-led military operation to oust former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, they continue to debate the nature, extent, and intent of that involvement.
The RFE/RL briefing featured WAYNE WHITE, former deputy director of the U.S. State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research's Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia, and A. WILLIAM SAMII, RFE/RL's regional analyst for Iran and editor of the "RFE/RL Iran Report."


Listen to the complete RFE/RL briefing (about 75 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


Iran/Iraq: Bilateral Ties Improving Despite U.S. Worries

Renewed Speculation About Tehran And Instability In Iraq

Iran/Iraq: Neighbors Mending Ties, But Outstanding Issues Remain


RFE/RL's coverage of Iran. RFE/RL's coverage of Iraq.