Iran backs Iraq stability




 
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Iran backs Iraq stability
 
November 7th, 2005  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Iran backs Iraq stability


Iran backs Iraq stability
Iran backs Iraq stability, offers port services, oil pipeline, railway link
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI - Associated Press Writer
TEHRAN, Iran - (AP) Iran said Sunday it supported Iraq's
stability and called for expediting the construction of an oil pipeline and
railway between the two neighbors, state-run television reported.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told visiting Iraqi Deputy Prime
Minister Ahmad Chalabi, who is scheduled to meet U.S. officials in
Washington next week, that Tehran supports Iraq's territorial integrity and
believes a powerful government in Baghdad suits its interests.
The United States has accused Iran of not doing enough to stop
militants entering Iraq to wage attacks inside the war-ravaged country.
Iran, which is also under U.S. pressure over its nuclear program, denies the
claims.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that establishing peace and
security in Iraq requires having a powerful government with popular support
more than anything else," the television quoted Ahmadinejad as saying
Sunday.
"Protection of Iraq's territorial integrity, independence and might
is of special significance to Iran," Ahmadinejad told Chalabi.
Chalabi's visit to Iran is seen as a boost for this Persian state,
which has been the focus of international criticism after Ahmadinejad
recently said that Israel should be "wiped off the map."
The president also said Iran was willing to offer its experience and
expertise to rebuild Iraq and insisted on expediting work on setting up an
oil pipeline between Iran's port city of Abadan and Basra, Iraq's second
largest city.
Ahmadinejad also called for completing a railway project connecting
both countries. He said Iraq could use Iranian ports as a transit route to
export goods.
Chalabi's visit to Iran comes as the Iraqi politician pursues
political rehabilitation in Washington after he was accused of passing
classified intelligence to Iran before the toppling of Saddam Hussein by the
U.S.-led military invasion in 2003.
Chalabi, once a U.S. favorite to replace Saddam, is also linked with
ultimately unfounded claims by President George W. Bush and his top aides
that Saddam had amassed hidden arsenals of weapons of mass destruction.
A former banker and graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, Chalabi has been a controversial figure on several fronts,
accused sometimes of being an Iranian agent. He last visited Iran in August
2004 to attend a trade conference in Tehran.
Iran admitted having "continuous and permanent dialogue with
Chalabi" but rejected spying charges.
Relations have improved markedly between Shiite Muslim-majority Iran
and Iraq following the 2003 toppling of Saddam, who led Iraqi forces into an
eight war with Iran that ended in 1988 and killed more than 1 million people
on both sides.