« Niners add Smith to defense | Main | Ahmadinejad holds press conference in Iraq »

Iranian leader visits Iraq

The Associated Press reported Sunday Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Iraq to open friendly relations between the two countries.

Ahmadinejad became the first Iranian president to visit Iraq and wanted to improve the relations between the two countries after turbulent times they had with each other during the Saddam Hussein regime.

The Iranian leader met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabaniand discussed economic, political, security and oil issues, Talabani said. However, they did not dicuss border issues, including a dispute between the two nations about the Shatt al-Arab waterway.

“We had very good talks that were friendly and brotherly,? Ahmadinejad said in a news conference. “We have mutual understandings and views in all fields, and both sides plan to improve relations as much as possible.? (AP)

However, the U.S. has made accusations that Iran aids militants that contribute to Iraq’s instability. President Ahmadinejad denied these claims and said that he wants an independent and stable Iraq.

The New York Times reported during the news conference Ahmadinejad answered questions about U.S. President Bush’s statements on Iran.

“You can tell Mr. Bush that making accusations about other will increase the Americans’ problems in the region,? Ahmadinejad said. “They will have to accept the facts in the area. The Iraqi people do not like the Americans.? (New York Times)

Both countries are of Shiite majority and the two nations want to use this to begin a bond with one another. However, during the 1980s a bloody battle took place between Saddam’s Sunni regime and Shiite Iran that saw other a million lives lost.

Outside of Baghdad many angry Sunnis protested Ahmadinejad’s visit.

“I think Ahmadinejad is the most criminal and bloody person in the world,? Emad Abbas, a 21-year-old university student in Samarra, north of Baghdad, said. “This visit degrades Iraq’s dignity, and it proves that Iraq is occupied twice, once by the United States and once by Iran.? (New York Times)

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told the AP that Ahmadinejad plans to leave Iraq on Monday morning.