TEHRAN, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Iranian officials said they expect Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to visit Tehran Saturday to discuss bilateral relations in the wake of a U.N. mandate.
Hassan Qashqavi, the spokesman for the Iranian foreign minister, said ties between both countries were "very friendly," the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Iraqi media reports suggested Maliki would postpone his visit, though Qashqavi said "there are no political reasons" to delay the trip.
The Iraqi premier is scheduled to visit with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his vice president and Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister.
Iranian officials said they expect the meeting will focus on bilateral relations in the wake of the expiration of the U.N. mandate for international security forces in Iraq. That mandate officially expires Wednesday.
The meeting may also focus on the conflict in the Gaza Strip, officials say, as Iraqi leaders officially called on the U.N. Security Council to intervene to stop the military raids.
Israel launched massive airstrikes on the Hamas-held Gaza Strip in response to the end of a six-month cease-fire. Iran Monday called on international courts to issue war crimes charges against Israeli leaders for the raid.