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Allawi Aide Says Iran Behind 'Smear Campaign'

Former Premier Iyad Allawi (file photo) 21 September 2005 -- A prominent Iraqi politician says former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and his ex-defense minister are targets of an Iraqi government smear campaign inspired by neighboring Iran.

Ibrahim al-Janabi, deputy head of the National Accord Movement headed by Allawi, made the charges in an interview with Reuters today. He said in Amman that allegations against former Defense Minister Hazim al-Sha'lan in connection with the disappearance of $1 billion from his ministry were a fabrication designed to prevent secular leaders from returning to power.

Allawi was interim prime minister from June 2004 until an elected government took over in April of this year. He
criticized Iranian influence while in office and al-Sha'lan once described Iran as Iraq's "prime enemy."


See also:

"Iraq: Hard To Pin Blame For Most Recent Violence"

For the latest on events in Iraq, see RFE/RL's The New Iraq