BAGHDAD, April 9 Iraq inspected a Syrian-bound
Iranian plane on Tuesday, but found only civilian goods onboard
during the second such search this week which came after
Washington urged Baghdad to stop weapons reaching Tehran's ally
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Iran's support for Assad is politically delicate for Iraq,
which balances its own close ties to Tehran against its
relations with Washington and Sunni Muslim Arab Gulf neighbours
who are opposed to the Syrian leader.
"Another Iranian plane was searched this morning. It was
coming from Tehran on its way to Damascus. We found nothing but
clothes and civilian equipment," said Ali al-Moussawi, Maliki's
media advisor. "It was an Airbus cargo plane, and we allowed it
to continue its trip."
Washington believes flights and overland transfers from Iran
to Syria via Iraq take place every day. But Iraq rejects charges
it allows Tehran to ferry military equipment or fighters through
Last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Iraqi
Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to do more to prevent Iran
shipping arms to Syria, calling the overflights "problematic".
(Reporting by Suadad al-Salhy; Editing by Patrick Markey and