U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she welcomes the invitation by Iraq's independent electoral commission to international monitors to review complaints of fraud in this month's parliamentary vote.

Ms. Rice said Thursday that the panel has "again demonstrated its commitment to fair and credible elections that meet international standards."

She says the United States strongly backs the review process and looks forward to final results that she says reflect the will of the Iraqi people.

Sunni Arab and secular Shi'ite political factions have alleged widespread fraud in the December 15 election. Initial results show that Shi'ite candidates won 130 seats in the 275-seat parliament.

Many Sunnis have held street protests demanding a re-vote. The U.N. representative to Iraq's election commission has said the parliamentary elections were transparent with relatively few instances of fraud.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.