Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh said Iran and the US were using Iraq as a "zone of conflict and competition" and jeopardizing efforts to stabilize the country.
Saleh, a Kurd who has ties with both Tehran and Washington, accused the two countries of stepping on Iraq's sovereignty as they jockeyed for advantage.
"Iraqi transition is burdened by many elements of interference in our domestic affairs," Saleh said in an interview on Sunday.
He urged Iran and the US to resolve their differences, at least where Iraq was concerned.
"The new Iraq is one that hopes to be at peace with itself and at peace with its neighbors," he said from a gilded chair in the ornate entrance hall of his Green Zone office compound.
"And that definitely requires noninterference in our affairs," he said, declaring that Iran and the US should see Iraq's well-being and prosperity as a "point of consensus."
The US and Iran, already deeply at odds over Tehran's nuclear program, find themselves in a growing and more public conflict over Iran's involvement in Iraq, where it is accused of training, arming and funding militants fighting US occupation forces.
The Iranian government heatedly blasted Washington earlier this month after US forces raided an Iranian government liaison office in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq and detained five Iranians. US officials said the Iranians were members of a Revolutionary Guard faction that funds and arms insurgents in Iraq.
Top Kurdish officials and authorities in Baghdad complained that the US raid was done without notification and said the Iranians must be freed, asserting they were in the country on legitimate business.
The detentions hit a nerve as Iraq's Shiite-dominated government faces the delicate task of trying to secure Baghdad with the help of US forces while maintaining ties with its neighbors, including US rivals Iran and Syria.
The White House has also revealed that US President George W. Bush has authorized US forces in Iraq to take whatever action necessary to counter Iranian agents who are deemed a threat.
Saleh signaled Iraqi impatience with both Tehran and Washington.
Indonesia has sent hundreds of riot police to a tiny island after protests broke out against a China-backed project that would displace thousands of residents. About 1,000 people protested in Batam City on Monday over a plan to develop Rempang island into a Chinese-funded economic zone, including the construction of a multibillion-dollar glass factory, that would displace about 7,500 people. Some protesters clashed with security forces outside a government agency, wielding machetes, Molotov cocktails and stones, police said, adding that dozens were arrested. Beijing has poured money into infrastructure and resource projects in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and its investments have previously caused
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