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Iran's Chief Diplomat Arrives In Iraq

Manuchehr Mottaki (file photo) (epa) May 26, 2006 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has arrived in Iraq for talks with senior Iraqi officials.

Mottaki was greeted at the airport by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

Mottaki's visit to Iraq is the first by a top Iranian official since President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's election victory in June.

Reuters quoted a senior Sunni politician in Iraq suggesting that "the visit is a clear acknowledgement that Iran is interfering in Iraq's affairs." The source claimed some Iraqi leaders would ask the Iranian foreign minister to help stop "Iranian meddling" in Iraqi affairs.

U.S. and Iranian officials have been quoted in recent weeks hinting at possible direct contacts over events in Iraq, which shares a nearly 1,500-kilometer border with Iran, but neither side has disclosed plans for any such meetings during Mottaki's visit.

(AFP, Reuters)