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Bomb Blast in Baghdad Kills 9, Iran's Foreign Minister Visits

  • VOA News

Iraqi police say a bomb explosion in a market in Baghdad on Friday killed at least nine people and wounded more than 30 others.

The latest incident comes as Iraq's newly installed government struggles to fill the key security posts of defense and interior ministers.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said Iraqi forces will be able to take control of security around the country within a year-and-a-half.

In other news, Iran's Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, who is visiting Baghdad on Friday, said Tehran has decided not to have direct talks with Washington over the situation in Iraq.

Mottaki accused the United States of using the proposed meeting for propaganda, and of raising other issues besides Iraq.

The U.S. has expressed interest in speaking to Iran about the sectarian struggle in Iraq, not about the standoff over Tehran's nuclear activities.

The United States has acknowledged that Iran can have a positive impact on the internal situation in Iraq because of its influence with Iraqi Shi'ites. Mottaki's visit to Baghdad is the first by a senior Iranian official in almost a year.

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