Iraqi prime minister puts off visit to Iran
BAGHDAD, Sep 11 (Reuters) Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki will not visit Iran today as planned and has set no new date for his first official visit to Tehran, an aide to the premier said.
''The prime minister is still in Iraq and will not leave today. The trip to Iran has been delayed until further notice,'' he told Reuters in response to a telephone inquiry.
He gave no reason for the delay. The Iraqi government spokesman announced the visit on Saturday but Iraq's ambassador in Tehran said yesterday it might not go ahead.
The two predominantly Shi'ite Muslim countries have been looking to strengthen ties, prompting concern among Iraq's once dominant Sunni minority and other Arab states, as well as of the United States, which has 145,000 troops in Iraq.
Reuters DKB VP1212