The Iranian President arrived in Baghdad yesterday. His visit is quite historic as it is the first time since the fall of the Shah in Iran (1979) that a state leader has visited Iraq. The two countries were at war from 1980 to 1988 after Saddam tried to take advantage of the revolutionary confusion in Iran. Over the course of his visit (which started yesterday and ends today) he has called for “foreign troops” toÂ leave the regionÂ and has claimed that the presence of the US has inspired terrorists in numbers not seen before. He believes that the Gulf’s problems should be handled internally, without western influence. The only other head of state to visit Iraq since the 2003 US invasion is Bush.
President Ahmadinejad also signed treaties with Presiden Talabani to boost trade and transportation options between the two nations. Many Iranians visit the Shia shrines in pilgramage.