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Home > News > The Gulf War II > Report

US, Israel rigging Iraq polls: Iran

December 21, 2004 11:24 IST

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that Israel and the US were responsible for the blasts in Iraq's Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, accusing both countries of trying to rig the upcoming elections for their own political benefits, reports Aljazeera.

"The Israeli and American intelligence agencies no doubt stand behind the bloody and bitter events that took place in holy Karbala and sacred Najaf," The Iranian News Agency, IRNA, cited Khamenei as saying.

"This is a plot which aims at keeping the Iraqis so busy that they will miss the exceptional chance to participate in the January 30 elections," he told state Television. "The British and Americans want to hold elections on the surface but in reality they want to bring their own agents to power by holding superficial elections."

Sunday's powerful car bomb explosions killed at least 77 people and wounded 120 others in the Iraqi cities of Karbala and Najaf.

US President George W. Bush and Iraq's interim Defense Minister Hazim al-Shalaan haverepeatedly accused Tehran of supporting the Iraqi resistance and trying to influence the results of the elections.

Iranian officials strongly denied the accusations and called for a fully democratic election.

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