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Report: Iraqi PM Calls on Iran to Stop Interfering in Iraq's Affairs


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has reportedly called on Iran to stop interfering in Iraq's affairs, saying it is having a "negative" impact on his country.

A spokesman for Mr. Maliki told the Associated Press that Iraq wants to bar financing of certain groups. The spokesman said Iran has shown it will help, and Iraqi officials want to see implementation of that.

His comments came as Mr. Maliki wrapped up a two-day visit to Iran Wednesday.

Iran and Iraq have tried to build closer ties in recent years after fighting a bloody war in the 1980s.

In violence Wednesday, two car bombs in Baghdad killed at least 22 Iraqis. Also, Iraqi officials said the bodies of 60 men who were tortured and shot to death were found overnight in the capital, apparent victims of sectarian death squads.

In other news, the U.S. military said two American soldiers were killed in combat.

And the lead prosecutor in the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein asked the chief judge to step down. The judge dismissed the request. Saddam and six co-defendants are accused of ordering the killing of tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, the U.N. secretary-general said most Middle Eastern leaders he met on a recent tour told him the U.S. invasion of Iraq and its aftermath have been a disaster for them. Kofi Annan said some leaders think U.S. forces should stay in Iraq until the situation improves. He said others, like Iran, believe the U.S. is the problem and should leave.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.