Special report: Tension escalates in
Special Report: Iran Nuclear Crisis¡¡
By Ahmad Jamal and Ibrahim Ghassan
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is deemed to demonstrate Iran's clout in Iraq during his landmark visit to the war-torn country on Sunday, challenging the United States which is seeking a long-term broad ties with Iraq. (Xinhua/Reuters file Photo)
BAGHDAD, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is deemed to demonstrate Iran's clout in Iraq during his
landmark visit to the war-torn country on Sunday, challenging the United States
which is seeking a long-term broad ties with Iraq.
Ahmadinejad will be the first Iranian president
visiting Iraq since 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.
The two countries fought a cruel eight-year war in
1980s. However, the relations has been picking up since the fall of Iraq's
former president Saddam Hussein and his Sunni power in 2003.
IRAN'S CLOUT IN IRAQ IS GETTING
Because of the natural bonds between the two
Shiite-dominated countries, -- many Iraq's Shiite leaders lived in exile in Iran
when Saddam was in power -- Iran's clout in Iraq is energizing in spheres of
religion, economy and even politics.
A growing number of Iranian pilgrims travel to Shiite
holy cities in Iraq, notably Najaf and Kalbara, during Shiite festivals.
The two countries, which have a trade volume of more
than 2 billion U.S. dollars currently, are planning to enlarge economic
Iraqi government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said last
month that the top leaders of the two countries would talk about bilateral
relations and joint projects during Ahmadinejad's upcoming visit to Iraq.
Prior to all of these, Iran's role in keeping Iraq's
security and stability began to be cognized.
As Hassan al-Seneid, a Shiite lawmaker in Maliki's
Dawa Party, put it to Xinhua, "The promotion of bilateral relations between Iraq
and Iran, along with other neighboring countries will certainly enhance security
and stability in Iraq and in whole region."
"This visit will shed light on the dark sides of
relations between the two neighboring countries, which its background was shaped
in the past by the bloody eight-year war. But there is other sides in our
relations such as possibility of cooperation insecurity, economic, political and
diplomatic fields," Seneid continued.
The Shiite lawmaker also expressed hope that Iran
could hold a new round of talks with the U.S. so that they may solve their
differences over security in Iraq.
The U.S. is aware of Iran's influence on Iraq very
well. That's why it adopted a relative soft stance toward Iran over Iraqi issue
compared with its tough standpoint on Iran's nuclear issue.
In seeking Iran's cooperation in helping quell the
violence in Iraq, the U.S. has held three rounds of talks with its arch foe Iran
over Iraqi security since last May.
U.S.-Iranian security talk on Iraq
BAGHDAD, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Iran has informed Iraq of
itsdecision to postpone its next round of meeting with the UnitedStates over
security in Iraq, an Iraqi Foreign Ministry sourcetold Xinhua on Thursday.
"We have learned that Iran told the Iraqi government that
ithas again asked to delay the meeting with the Americans aboutsecurity in
Iraq," the source told Xinhua on condition ofanonymity.Full story
Iraqi president invites his Iranian
counterpart to visit Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi President Jalal
Talabani has extended an invitation of visit to his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, an Iraqi official said on Wednesday.
President Jalal Talabani had invited Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to pay a visit, Heiwa Othman, advisor of the Iraqi
president, told Xinhua, adding that no date has been set. Full story
UN vote on Iran sanctions rescheduled
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security
Council has rescheduled to Monday its vote on a draft resolution imposing
further sanctions on Iran, a UN diplomat said Friday.
The vote, originally planned for Saturday, was delayed so
that the cosponsors could have more time to discuss the text with some of the
nonpermanent members, who have expressed obvious skepticism at more sanctions,
said the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. Full story