Iran's Khamenei accuses U.S. of destabilizing Iraq, says Iran will help quell violence

Tuesday, November 28th 2006, 8:42 am
By: News On 6

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday accused the United States of destabilizing Iraq through hired ``terrorists'' and former members of Saddam Hussein's regime.

In a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Khamenei pledged that Iran would do all it can to use its influence among Iraq's Shiite Muslims to quell the violence, according to a state television report.

``The main reason for the current situation in Iraq is America's policies,'' the television quoted Khamenei as telling Talabani, who is on the final day of a two-day visit.

``Those (the Americans) who plotted against Iraq, and whose plans have not materialized, are intent on destabilizing the situation. Their agents on the ground are terrorists, the excommunicated and former Baathists,'' the television quoted Khamenei as saying.

By ``excommunicated,'' he appeared to be referring to the civil servants loyal to Saddam's Baath Party. The United States expelled Baathists from the government in the early days of its occupation of Iraq after Saddam was toppled.

After his arrival in Tehran on Monday, Talabani said his government was in dire need of Iran's help to quell the escalating violence in Iraq.

The United States has accused Iran of supplying money, weapons components and training to Shiite militia in neighboring Iraq.

Iran has denied the charge, saying it has only political and religious links with Iraqi Shiites. Both Iran and Iraq are Shiite majority countries.