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Iraqi Defense Minister Calls Iran 'Number One Enemy'


Iraq's interim defense minister has lashed out at neighbors Iran and Syria, accusing them of aiding wanted terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Saddam Hussein loyalists in Iraq.

In a speech Wednesday, Hazem al-Shaalan singled out Iran as his country's "number one enemy." He then accused Iranian, Syrian and former Iraqi intelligence agents of cooperating with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terror network by financing and training terrorists. Mr. al-Shaalan said Iraqi authorities obtained information about Iran's role in Iraq after a leader of the Jaish Mohammed terrorist group was arrested in Fallujah last month.

At the White House, President Bush warned Iran and Syria that "meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq is not in their interest." Both Iran and Syria have previously rejected U.S. and Iraqi claims that they support the insurgency.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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