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Iran Slams 'Mischievous' WikiLeaks Disclosures on Iraq Role

Iran hit out on Tuesday at whistleblower website WikiLeaks describing as "mischievous" the disclosure of classified U.S. military documents detailing assessments of its role in neighboring Iraq.

Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the timing of the leaks raised questions about the website's independence and Iran's ISNA news agency quoted him as saying it was aimed at influencing protracted coalition talks in Baghdad.

"Serious ambiguity and doubt linger regarding the intentions behind the suspicious release of WikiLeaks documents," Mehmanparast told reporters at his weekly press conference.

Iran will "confront this mischievous act," he added.

On Friday, WikiLeaks released hundreds of thousands of U.S. military documents dating from January 2004 to the end of 2009.

The documents detailed U.S. assessments of an Iranian shadow war with U.S. troops in Iraq, in which Tehran allegedly trained and armed Shiite militias to kill or capture U.S. troops.

According to one report, Iran planned an attack on the Green Zone in Baghdad, where the main Iraqi government buildings and Western embassies are housed.

Mehmanparast denied the allegations and said the leak was politically motivated.

Iran will "not confirm the allegations ... made in these documents, which are ostensibly released independently," he said.

ISNA quoted Mehmanparast as saying that the leak was aimed at influencing drawn-out talks on the formation of a new Iraqi government after an inconclusive March general election.

The documents have already had a big impact inside Iraq, with incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki thrown on the defensive in his battle for a second term by the allegations of routine abuses by the security forces under his command.

Maliki has looked to Iran for support in his long battle for the premiership with former prime minister Iyad Allawi.(AFP)


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