President Jalal Talabani has made an historic trip to Iran, the first by an Iraqi head of state for nearly forty years. Cross border security between the former rivals is a top issue on the agenda.
After talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Talabani said he was convinced Tehran would help in the fight against terrorism. Ahmadinejad said he supported his neighbour’s independence and sovereignty. Iran’s government denies accusations it supplies weapons to Shi’ite militiants to smuggle over the border into Iraq. Talabani’s visit to the former enemy country marks a distinct thawing in relations. Ties between the two have been strained since the Iran-Iraq war that began in 1980 when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. Some estimate the eight year conflict left upto 1.5 million people dead.