Sunday, August 08, 2004

:: Xinhuanet - Tehran to invite Allawi to visit Iran

:: Xinhuanet - English ::: "Tehran to invite Allawi to visit Iran 2004-08-08 19:09:59

TEHRAN, Aug. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- Iran has the intention to invite Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi to visit the country, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said Sunday.

'The Foreign Ministry is preparing an invitation letter for Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi to visit Iran,' Asefi said at his weekly press briefing. But the spokesman did not give any specific date for Allawi's possible visit.

The relationship between Iran and Iraq has been complicated with a lot of disputes concerning territory and religion.

The two countries fought an eight-year war from 1980 to 1988, killing an estimated 1 million people and causing an economic loss of some 540 billion US dollars.

Since the end of the war, Baghdad has regularly reported attacks and acts of sabotage on its territory, attributing them to Tehran or 'Iranian agents'.

For its part, Iran blames the regime of Saddam Hussein for hosting its outlawed People's Mujaheedin.

After the downfall of Saddam, Iraq has accused Iran of interfering into its internal affairs, especially influencing its Shiite Muslims, 60 percent of its total population, an allegation denied by Tehran. "


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