WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden discussed with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Friday the need to prevent Iraqi territory and airspace from being used to ship weapons to Syria, the White House said, amid allegations of an illicit arms flow from Iran.

It was the highest-level contact between Washington and Baghdad on the issue, following a Western intelligence report that Iranian aircraft had flown weapons and military personnel across Iraqi airspace to Syria to aid President Bashar Assad's efforts to crush an 18-month uprising.

Iraq on Thursday denied the allegation. The report said the flights had been organized by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran is a staunch ally of Assad.

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