Ahmadinejad to Visit Iraq

First-ever trip by an Iranian prez upsets Sunnis, poses security risk to hosts
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2008 7:48 PM CST
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani during a meeting with Riyadh Gharib, Iraqi Minister of Municipalities and Public Works, unseen, at Talabani's office in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Jan. 28, 2008. (AP Photo/Wathiq...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will fly to Baghdad Sunday to meet with Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, the first state visit ever by an Iranian president, the BBC reports. Sunni Iraqi leaders expressed outrage over the visit, which also comes a day after the US claimed further evidence of Iranian meddling in the country—a sniper "trained in Iran," US military said. 

Ahmadinejad laughed off the find, saying, "Is it not funny that those with 160,000 forces in Iraq accuse us of interference?" He also refuses to travel through the US-occupied Green Zone, saying he will not accept American protection. This may pose a security risk to his hosts, who must transport him from the airport to Baghdad along 5 miles of oft-ambushed highway.