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AFP: Iran Says Not Meddling in Iraqi Elections


Iran's ambassador to Baghdad has rejected U.S. accusations that Iran is seeking to interfere in upcoming elections in Iraq.

In an interview with the French news agency, AFP, Saturday, Ambassador Hasan Kazemi Qomi said the United States has never shown evidence to support the claim.

In a report earlier this month, the U.S. Defense Department said Iran may use Iraq's provincial elections to exert its influence by supporting pro-Iranian candidates.

Iraqi and U.S. officials are hoping the January 31 elections will bring about greater security in the country, despite rising sectarian violence in recent weeks.

In violence Saturday, at least three Iraqi policemen were killed when a suicide car bomber drove into a police checkpoint northwest of Baghdad.

Meantime, the top U.S. Marine officer, James Conway, says the situation in Iraq is stable enough for his forces there to be redeployed to Afghanistan, where insurgent violence has increased.

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq, and the doubling of forces in Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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