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Iraq's Talabani visits ailing Shia leader

TEHRAN, June 7 (UPI) -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was in Iran Sunday to visit a hospitalized Iraqi Shiite religious leader, officials said.

An official statement said Talabani Sunday visited Sayyed Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, who was in Tehran to receive cancer treatments, CNN reported.

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The Shiite leader, who is receiving chemotherapy for lung cancer, also received a briefing from Talabani on the latest political and security developments in Iraq, CNN quoted Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency as reporting.

The U.S. broadcaster said Iranian media portrayed Talabani's visit as "unofficial" and indicated the president's trip comes after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made a similar visit to Hakim last week.

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