TEHRAN, Iran – Iran called Tuesday for U.N.-supervised elections in neighboring Iraq and urged the divided Iraqi opposition to reconcile with President Saddam Hussein as part of a plan aimed at averting a U.S.-led war on Iraq.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi announced the proposal in Tehran, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
"We want a referendum to be held in Iraq and the Iraqi opposition [to] reconcile with the current regime in that country under the supervision of the United Nations," Kharrazi was quoted as saying during a conference held in the capital.
"We believe this is a genuine move, that the Iraqi people elect their real representatives in a referendum supervised by the United Nations," IRNA quoted Kharrazi as saying. The foreign minister added, however, that Iran had no intention of interfering in Iraq's domestic affairs.
"They should themselves decide on their own future and form a broad-based government in which all minorities as well as ethnic and religious groups have a share," Kharrazi said.
"The Iraqi government, which has the power in hand now, should accept this plan," Kharrazi said.
"We believe this is the only way for a peaceful change of government in Iraq, which will prevent the breakout of a war in the region," he said.