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Iraqi premier to start talks in Iran

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 22, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.

iraqi-prime-minister-nouri-al-maliki-center-reviews-an-iranian-honor-guard-as-he-is-accompanied-by-iranian-vice-president-mohammad-reza-rahimi-left-during-an-official-arrival-ceremony-in-tehran-iran-sunday-april-22-2012

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center, reviews an Iranian honor guard, as he is accompanied by Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, left, during an official arrival ceremony, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 22, 2012.

— Iraq’s prime minister is in Tehran for top level talks, underlining the close ties between governments of the two countries.

Nouri al-Maliki is expected to meet Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his two-day official visit. Al-Maliki’s Shiite-dominated government has received support from Iran, a regional Shiite powerhouse.

Among topics for discussion will be Iran’s nuclear program. Iraq will host the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers in Baghdad May 23.

Al-Maliki was given a red carpet welcome by First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi at Saadabad Palace in north Tehran, state TV reported Sunday.

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