Iraq: Protests ahead of Iranian's president visit

Baghdad, 29 Feb.(AKI) - A group of Iraqi citizens has been protesting for two consecutive days in the capital Baghdad, ahead of the visit on Saturday by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad's two-day state visit will be the first by an Iranian president since the Iranian Revolution and the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

The visit could mark a shift in ties between the former enemy countries, whose 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war killed an estimated 1 million plus people.

The protesters, standing in front of a mosque in Baghdad, handed out pamphlets which read "Iraq is not for sale".

The group of people accuse Iran and its president of interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq, supporting al-Qaeda, promoting religious hatred and inciting sectarian violence between Shia radical groups and the Sunni minority.

In the pamphlets, there was also an appeal to the multi-national forces present in Iraq to block Ahmadinejad's visit to Iraq.

On Wednesday, the responsible of Iraqi intelligence claimed to be in possession of documents that prove the collaboration between Iran's Revolutionary Guards and al-Qaeda cells.

Reports said 11 officials belonging to the Revolutionary Guards have been arrested in Baghdad. They are accused of supplying weapons and training to armed groups that operate on Iraqi soil.


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