Iranian 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 Muslim Shi'ites to quell the violence in the country, 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 to Iran.
"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.