Iraq: Curfew lifted for president's Iran visit

A curfew that had banned vehicles from the capital's streets and closed its international airport to all civilian flights for three days was lifted Monday, clearing the way for Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to travel to Iran for an official visit. Talabani had been scheduled to visit neighboring Iran on Saturday, but he had to postpone his trip because of the security clampdown imposed across Baghdad after Sunni-Arab insurgents killed more than 200 people in the Shi'ite slum of Sadr City on Thursday in the deadliest terror attack since the war began in March 2003. Talabani's visit will be closely watched to see if Iran's mostly Shi'ite government tries to do more to help Iraq's Shi'ite-dominated government stem a surge in sectarian violence in Iraq. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran is "ready to help" the United States calm Iraq's fighting.