A congressional aide who was also present and spoke on the condition of anonymity said the senators asked for a congressional role similar to that required by the Iraqi Constitution for Iraq's parliament.
Still, the fact that the Illinois Democrat on June 3 clinched enough delegates to be assured the Democratic presidential nomination gives his comments special force - something that also applies to the Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a key proponent of the surge of extra U.S. forces to Iraq last year.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES HOT SEAT: Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama meets with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Baghdad in July. Mr. Obama's talks with Iraqi leaders have stirred controversy.
As a U.S. senator, Mr. Obama "has a foot in both camps," said Ross K. Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University. "It's within the jurisdiction of his committee and something he's entitled to speak about. It doesn't raise a red flag for me."
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe declined to comment on the matter.
Leslie Phillips, a press officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, also declined to comment even though an embassy note-taker was present during the senators' meeting in Iraq. "The embassy's role is purely to facilitate the meetings," she said.
Presidential nominees traditionally have not intervened personally in foreign-policy disputes, although campaign surrogates have done so.
Historian Robert Dallek has documented meetings with South Vietnamese diplomats in 1968 by Republican vice-presidential candidate Spiro Agnew and Anna Chennault, widow of Gen. Claire Chennault, the commander of "Flying Tiger" forces in China during World War II.
Mr. Dallek, author of "Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times 1961-1973," obtained tapes of the conversations from bugs the Johnson administration had placed in the South Vietnamese Embassy in Washington.
Negotiations to end the Vietnam War were taking place in Paris at the time between the Johnson administration and the North and South Vietnamese.
Mr. Agnew and Mrs. Chennault "signaled the South Vietnamese that they would get a better deal with Richard Nixon as president instead of the Democrat" Hubert Humphrey, Mr. Dallek said.
"Johnson was furious and said that Nixon was guilty of treason," Mr. Dallek said, but neither he nor Mr. Humphrey disclosed the matter before the election, which Mr. Nixon won.