Iraq`s Maliki visits Iran as premiership rival cries foul

Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki visited Tehran to garner support for his premiership bid.

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2010, 18:12 PM IST

Tehran: Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki
visited Tehran on Monday to garner support for his premiership
bid, as his chief rival Iyad Allawi accused Iran of meddling
in Baghdad`s political affairs.

Maliki flew to Tehran from Amman and went straight into a
meeting with Iran`s first vice president Mohammad Reza Rahimi,
according to local media which added that he was later to hold
talks with other Iranian officials.

Maliki had been in Jordan yesterday as part of his tour
of Middle East capitals aimed at drumming up support as he
fights to keep his job after an inconclusive March 7 general
election.

His Shiite-led State of Law bloc finished a narrow second
behind Allawi`s mainly Sunni-backed Iraqiya alliance but
neither came close to securing a parliamentary majority in the
vote.

Allawi, who has looked to support from Gulf Arab states
led by Saudi Arabia which he visited earlier this month, at
the weekend renewed accusations that Iran is meddling in the
drawn-out coalition talks in Baghdad.

"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."

PTI