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Friday, 10 August 2007

Iran calls for US to pull out of Iraq

An end to violence in Iraq depends on the US withdrawing its troops, Iran told Iraq’s prime minister yesterday, seeking to deflect blame for bloodshed that the US directs at Tehran.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, facing political woes at home and US criticism for lack of progress in bridging sectarian division, won support from Shiite Iran in a visit to Tehran.

With Shiite Muslims now in power also in Baghdad, ties between the two oil-rich countries have improved since US-led forces in 2003 toppled Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Arab who waged an eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s.

But the US military accuses Iran of arming and training militias behind some of the violence threatening to tear Iraq apart. Iran rejects the charge, and blames the bloodshed on the presence of about 162000 troops. More...