Iraqi authorities say at least 17 people were killed and dozens wounded Monday in a string of car bombings in Baghdad.
Officials said three parked cars exploded within minutes of each other in the predominantly Shi'ite neighborhood of Karradah. At least three policemen were killed. A fourth bomb exploded later in central Baghdad.
The bombings came as Iraqi officials prepare to host a meeting Tuesday between U.S. and Iranian officials to discuss the security situation in Iraq.
Washington has accused Iran of stirring up violence in Iraq by supplying weapons to Shi'ite militias - a charge Iran denies.
The U.S. embassy in Baghdad said Ambassador Ryan Crocker will take part in the talks with his Iranian counterpart.
The United States and Iran held their first high-level talks in nearly 30 years in May. The U.S. State Department said last week it is ready for more talks.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.