Ahmadinejad to make landmark visit to Iraq

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has set March 2 for the start of his landmark visit to Iraq, officials said, but the Iranians postponed the next session of security talks with the United States. The announcements on Thursday came as US officials sharpened their rhetoric against Iran. The No. 2 US military chief in Iraq wrapped up his command with a warning that Tehran wants to keep Iraq's government weak to block any challenges to Iranian influence. Ahmadinejad will meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani during his two-day visit, according to an Iraqi government spokesman. Ahmadinejad's trip was announced last month but Iraqi officials only unveiled the date on Thursday. It will be the first official visit to Iraq by an Iranian leader since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.