WASHINGTON – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis accused Iran on Thursday of “mucking around” in Iraq’s May parliamentary election, in which Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is seeking another term after a successful, U.S.-backed war against Islamic State militants.
“We have worrisome evidence that Iran is trying to influence- using money – the Iraqi elections. That money is being usedto sway candidates, to sway votes,” Mattis told reporters, without detailing who Iran sought to influence or offering evidence. “It’s not an insignificant amount of money, we believe. Andwe think it’s highly unhelpful.”
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)