UPI: A senior Iraqi official Saturday accused Iran of channeling money into Iraq to "achieve sectarian objectives" and destabilize the country. Waset Gov. Mohammad Ridha said $18,987.30 in Iranian tomans were seized and found to have been sent to a resident in the province "to try to entice sectarian extremism and ruin the elections process." United Press International

Baghdad, Iraq - A senior Iraqi official Saturday accused Iran of channeling money into Iraq to "achieve sectarian objectives" and destabilize the country.

Waset Gov. Mohammad Ridha said $18,987.30 in Iranian tomans were seized and found to have been sent to a resident in the province "to try to entice sectarian extremism and ruin the elections process."

While he did not specify Iran by name, referring only to its currency allegedly seized, Ridha insisted there were "hidden hands trying to destabilize the province by focusing on sectarian allegiance over allegiance to the homeland."

His accusation came amid repeated charges by Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem al-Shaalan that Iran was interfering in his country's internal affairs.