Iraq's Chalabi meets with senior Iranians before U.S. trip

WORLD DIGEST

World Digest

November 06, 2005|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

TEHRAN, Iran -- Ahmad Chalabi, the former Iraqi exile who has become a deputy prime minister, met with senior Iranians yesterday in what appeared to be an effort to distance himself from them, just days before he visits Washington.

In a series of closed meetings, Chalabi saw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president; Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mattaki; and Ali Larijani, head of the Iranian National Security Council.

Chalabi said he had spoken to the Iranians about an issue that seemed likely to endear him to the Americans: the question of Iranian interference in Iraq's domestic politics.

American and some Iraqi officials have long alleged that the Iranian government is deeply involved in Iraqi internal affairs, by directly assisting Iraqi political parties and private Shiite militias.

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