Iraq tries to mend fences

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The Independent Online
The most senior Iraqi to visit Tehran since the 1979 revolution arrived yesterday to plead Baghdad's case against UN sanctions at an Islamic summit.

Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan said he was bearing a message from President Saddam Hussein to Muslim leaders, due to start a summit today. He drove from Baghdad to the Iranian border at Khorramshah, where he boarded an Iranian airliner for the flight to Tehran, which Iraq bombarded during its 1980-88 war with Iran. The sight of the Iraqi official stepping from an Iranian plane at Tehran's Mehrabad airport enraged some Iranians, who flooded state television with queries. Mr Ramadan was forced to take his unconventional route to the summit by UN sanctions, which prohibit flights to or from Iraq.