News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqPro-Iran official arrested in Iraq for election fraud

Pro-Iran official arrested in Iraq for election fraud

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Iran Focus: Baghdad, Dec. 23 – United States troops in Iraq have arrested a senior official of the Iranian-backed Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) in connection with the entry of forged ballots from neighbouring Iran prior to last week’s parliamentary elections in Iraq, according to Baghdad dailies. Iran Focus

Baghdad, Dec. 23 – United States troops in Iraq have arrested a senior official of the Iranian-backed Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) in connection with the entry of forged ballots from neighbouring Iran prior to last week’s parliamentary elections in Iraq, according to Baghdad dailies.

Fazil Jassem, also known as Abu-Tayyeb, was arrested in the city of al-Kut after evidence surfaced proving his involvement in the smuggling of fake ballots through the Iran-Iraq border.

With SCIRI officials in virtual control of the border province, Jassem sat on the provincial council in al-Wassit.

Prior to the elections last week, Iraqi border police seized a tanker that had entered from Iran. Concealed inside the fuel tank were hundreds of thousands of forged ballots, according to press reports.

Independent analysts in the Iraqi capital said the incident was not isolated and that Tehran had sent a huge number of fake ballots to Iraq to boost the performance of its protégés in the elections.

Reports said that Jassem was presently undergoing interrogation about his alleged role in the affair.

Last week, the commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, General George Casey, said that there was intelligence indicating that Tehran had “invested heavily” in political parties supportive of Iran in southern Iraq.

“I believe they will continue to attempt to influence the formation of this government over the coming weeks, to get a government that they believe is supportive of their interests”, Casey said, adding, “That is worrisome and it is a challenge for us”.

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