After 20 years, Iran appoints ambassador to Iraq

Iran has appointed an ambassador to Iraq for the first time in more than 20 years, the official Iranian news agency reported. Hasan Kazemi Qomi presented his credentials to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Baghdad on Tuesday night, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported. The move indicates an improvement in official Iran-Iraq relations, since ambassadors were withdrawn shortly before the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88. "Upgrading the level of relations between the two countries will open a new page in the history of ties between the two countries," Talabani told Qomi, according to IRNA. Talabani also said that Iraq wants Iran to participate in the reconstruction of Iraq, IRNA reported.