News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIran insists Iraq parliament speaker still welcome

Iran insists Iraq parliament speaker still welcome

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ImageAFP: Iran insisted that Iraqi parliament speaker Mahmud Mashhadani was still welcome to visit after his plane was refused permission to land in Tehran on Monday.

ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — Iran insisted that Iraqi parliament speaker Mahmud Mashhadani was still welcome to visit after his plane was refused permission to land in Tehran on Monday.

The spokesman of the Iranian parliament's presiding board, Mohsen Kouhkan, said that the aircraft had not been turned away because of any objections to Mashhadani's planned visit.

"The reason that permission to land was not given to the aircraft carrying Mashhadani was the type of the plane," Kouhkan told the official IRNA news agency. "It had nothing to do with him."

His comments were echoed by the chairman of parliament's foreign affairs committee, Alaeddin Boroujerdi.

"There has been no particular problem with Mr Mashhadani's trip to Tehran. It was a technical problem and the invitation from (Iranian parliament speaker Ali) Larijani for this trip to Tehran still stands," Boroujerdi told the Fars news agency.

"The pilot of Mr. Mashhadani's plane was not sufficiently informed and there was a miscoordination in the beginning and necessary coordination was not made for the entry of Mr. Mashhadani's plane to Tehran."

The turning away of Mashhadani's aircraft by Shiite-majority Iran raised eyebrows as he is one of Iraq's leading Sunni Arab politicians.

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