Iran gives jet to Iraq as 'goodwill gesture'

July 26, 2007 - 0:0

BAGHDAD (AFP) - An Iraqi government spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that his country had received an A-300 Airbus jet as a gift from Iran.

""This was a gift from the Iranian government to the Iraqi people,"" Ali al-Dabbagh said about the plane, which was delivered to Baghdad last week and will be used by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for official travel. ""The Iraqi government thanks the Iranian government for that gift,"" Dabbagh added, calling it a ""goodwill initiative."" The delivery of the jet, first reported last week by local media, is a measure of the close ties between Maliki's government and Iran, which U.S. officials accuse of stirring sectarian violence