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Larijani blames US for attacks during Iraq elections

As Iraqi people prepare to cast their ballots in a key parliamentary election, Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani warns against US interference in the voting process.

Speaking on the morrow of a deadly blast which killed at least four Iranians in the central Iraqi city of Najaf, Larijani said Washington’s ongoing military presence in the country is the main reason behind the recent wave of violence, which has reached a new high in the lead-up to Iraq’s general election.

“The US government should be held responsible for [ongoing terror attacks in Iraq,” said Larijani in a parliamentary session on Sunday.

The Iranian Parliament Speaker said the Iraqi nation will show that they do not need the help of Washington statesmen in deciding their country’s affairs.

This is Iraq’s second parliamentary election since the US-led invasion of 2003. The previous election, which was held in 2005, saw Nouri al-Maliki become prime minister.

The vote is taking place against a backdrop of stringent security measures by the Iraqi government to protect voters against election violence.

But this has not stopped insurgent groups from disrupting the election process in Baghdad and other key cities in Iraq.

According to the latest figures, at least 24 Iraqis have been killed and dozens of others wounded by mortar attacks since polling stations opened early Sunday in Baghdad.

Also, sixteen people were killed after two massive blasts flattened two residential buildings, AFP reported.

Iraqi Baathists, whose Saddam-linked party candidates were banned by the Iraqi authorities but backed by the US, as well as the anti-Shia al-Qaeda militants, are believed to be behind the bombing attacks during today’s elections.

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