U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrives in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Mattis said Tuesday he believes victory in Afghanistan is still possible — not necessarily on the battlefield but in facilitating a Taliban reconciliation with the Afghan government. (AP Photo/Robert Burns)

Mattis accuses Iran of 'mucking around' in Iraq's elections

March 15, 2018 - 7:41 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is accusing Iran of "mucking around" in Iraq's elections.

He tells reporters the U.S. has what he called "worrisome evidence" that Iran is funneling money into Iraq to try to sway votes.

He is declining to say whether Iran's efforts are aimed specifically at undermining the re-election chances of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Mattis says the alleged interference is part of a broader pattern of destabilizing Iranian actions across the Middle East, including in Syria and Yemen. He spoke to reporters flying home with him Thursday from Bahrain, where he discussed Iran and other issues with senior government officials.

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