NAJAF, Iraq – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in southern Iraq to visit two of the holiest cities for Shiite Muslims amid tight security on the second day of his two-day visit to the country.
The outgoing Iranian president waved to worshippers and smiled on Friday morning as he entered the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, a city 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Baghdad.
Security forces were deployed along the route from Najaf airport to the gold-domed shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam.
Ahmadinejad's convoy then plans to head to the city of Karbala, home to the shrine of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
This is Ahmadinejad's second visit to Iraq while in office. On Thursday, he met Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other officials.