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Iranian Leaders Pledge Support For Iraqi PM

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Tehran (AFP) August 9, 2007 -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has won promises from Iranian leaders to support his efforts to restore security to Iraq.

The pledges came as al-Maliki met in Tehran with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, national security chief Ali Larijani, and other top Iranian officials.

Al-Maliki reportedly told Ahmadinejad that he appreciated what he called "Iran's positive and constructive stance" toward Iraq.

Ahmadinejad expressed optimism that Iraq would someday achieve stability and security. But he said both Iran and Iraq have a "heavy burden" before then.

The United States accuses Iran of contributing to instability in Iraq by training and arming militants fighting there.

Iran's First Vice President Parviz Davudi meanwhile has said Iran and Iraq will soon sign an agreement on building an oil pipeline between the two countries.

Davudi, speaking after talks with al-Maliki, said the pipeline would carry oil from Iraqi oilfields to refineries in Iran.

He said Iraq's Oil Minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, is due to visit Tehran to discuss the deal "in coming days."

(compiled from agency reports)

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.