Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has called on Middle East leaders to stop Iran from interfering in Iraqi politics.
He made the call in Syria Wednesday, following a meeting with President Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Allawi said he had asked Iran's allies, which include Syria, to send the message to Tehran.
Mr. Allawi's Iraqiya political bloc is trying to pull together enough support to form the next Iraqi government and end a political stalemate that has persisted since the March elections.
Charles Dunne, a scholar with the Middle East Institute, discusses the formation of new Iraqi government:
He has ruled out taking part in any coalition government headed by current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Mr. Allawi's bloc won the most seats in the March election with the support of Sunni Muslims. The bloc beat Mr. Maliki's Shi'ite-dominated State of Law Alliance by only two seats.
Also visiting Syria Wednesday is influential Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose own political group won about 40 seats in the election, making him a sought-after coalition partner.
Mr. Allawi met with Sadr in Damascus in July, but the two do not have plans to meet during their current visits.
Iraq and Syria recently agreed to restore diplomatic relations that became strained after Prime Minister Maliki accused Damascus of sheltering two people he said were responsible for 2009 bombings in Baghdad that killed 100 people.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.