Allawi slams Iran as Maliki holds talks in Tehran
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Monday held talks in Iran to get backing for his premiership bid. According to AFP, the Iraqi leader flew to Tehran from Amman and went straight into a series of meetings, including with Iran's first vice president Mohammad Reza Rahimi and with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to local media.
Maliki had been in Jordan on Sunday.
In their meeting, Rahimi has stressed the importance of bolstering cooperation. "Regional countries will turn into a big power through strengthening their cooperation which will bring security and welfare to nations," IRNA quoted Rahimi as saying. He voiced his country's readiness to participate in the reconstruction of Iraq, saying, "Iran will spare no effort to help Iraq reconstruct and develop.”
"Iran regards progress and security of Iraq as its own progress and security. The two countries can make use of their capacities to expand relations in all fields," he added.
Rahimi also expressed hope the formation of a new Iraqi government and the establishment of security in that country would prepare the ground for the promotion of joint cooperation in different areas.
Maliki, for his part, described as "strategic and strong" relations between Tehran and Baghdad.
Meanwhile, Maliki's rival, ex-premier Eyad Allawi, accused Iran of meddling in the Iraqi coalition talks. "We know that unfortunately Iran is trying to wreak havoc on the region, and trying to destabilise the region by destabilising Iraq, and destabilising Lebanon and destabilising the Palestinian issue," Allawi told CNN on Sunday.
"And this is where unfortunately Iraq and the rest of the greater Mideast is falling victim to these terrorists who are definitely Iran-financed and supported by various governments in the region."