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Iran Said To Deny Iraqi Premier's Overflight

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (file photo) (epa) April 8, 2007 -- A senior adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has confirmed reports that Iran refused to allow a plane carrying al-Maliki to cross its airspace overnight on a trip to Japan.

The refusal reportedly forced the aircraft to make an unplanned stop in Dubai to file a new flight plan.

Japanese officials confirmed that al-Maliki's arrival had been delayed and that they expected him to arrive for his first tour to Japan and South Korea tonight rather than in the early afternoon.

Al-Maliki's adviser, Sadiq al-Rikabi, said the plane entered Iranian airspace on the evening of April 7 and "suddenly" received an order by Iranian aviation authorities to go back.

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that as a technicality, all flights over Iranian territory require prior authorization. But he did not explicitly say that Iran had not allowed al-Maliki's plane to overfly its territory.

(compiled from agency reports)

Sharing Iraq's Oil

Sharing Iraq's Oil

The pipeline from Kirkuk to Turkey is one of Iraq's main oil-export lifelines (epa file photo)

THE FUTURE OF THE ECONOMY. The uneven distribution of Iraq's oil resources has long been a source of tension among the country's ethnic and sectarian groups. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, the tangled quest to find an equitable way to share oil revenues has been a major stumbling block on the road to national unity.


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