Iraqi Premier al-Maliki starts talks in Tehran

Tehran  - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-MalikiIraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday started talks in Tehran with high-ranking Iranian officials on the latest developments in Iraq, including an agreement between Iraq and the United States to be finalized next month.

The Iraqi premier already held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Vice-President Parviz Davoudi and was later Sunday to meet with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Under the not yet concluded agreement, the US is seeking not only approval to maintain military bases in Iraq but also the right to conduct military operations from those bases against other countries without consultation with the Baghdad government.

Maliki has reportedly reassured Iran that Iraq will not be used for launching attacks against the Islamic state but Tehran would prefer that Baghdad not sign the agreement at all. (dpa)