As Iraqi Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki meets President Obama in Washington, Tehran is trying to broaden its influence in Iraq by installing a heavy-hitting cleric there.
Iraq unveiled a broad-based government Tuesday that includes all the country's major religious and ethnic factions. The key security and military affairs ministries remain open.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met Tuesday with Ayad Allawi to discuss forming a new government and decide who will be prime minister. But the main Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish factions are still negotiating.
In the wake of the disputed Iraq election, the two largest Shiite parties announced they are creating an alliance to lead the next government that leaves them just 4 votes shy of a parliamentary majority.
With 80 percent of the Iraq election votes counted, Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki is neck and neck with former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Even if Maliki wins the popular vote, he may not be able to hold together a coalition government.
A ban on hundreds of (mostly Sunni) candidates in Iraq was lifted Wednesday. The ban was reversed after senior Sunni politicians threatened to boycott the March 7 national election.
Iraqi governor talks about how to revive southern Iraqi city.