“Let’s be clear, the Iranians should not be in a position to influence the elections,” Bush said of Sunday’s polls in an interview with the Dubai-based satellite channel Al-Arabiya. His remarks were voiced over in Arabic and translated into English by The Associated Press.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have expressed fears that Iran, a Shiite Muslim-majority state on Iraq’s eastern border, is trying to expand its influence through the elections, in which Iraqi Shiites are expected to win the largest number of seats in a transitional national assembly.
Iran has rejected accusations it was trying to influence the elections, saying that Iraqis have made it clear they won’t take orders from abroad.
Bush said he does not think the elections will produce a pro-Iranian government in Baghdad.