The following are excerpts from an address by Iranian leader 'Ali Khamenei:
'Ali Khamenei: As for the bloody events (in Najaf and Karbala) that caused the loss of human life – even if it were merely a terrorist act, it should still be condemned. However, the matter goes beyond that. As the elections in Iraq near, they want to keep the Iraqi public busy and to spread allegations and disagreements among them in order to snatch this extraordinary opportunity out of their hands. This is what they want. I am sure that behind these events are the Israeli and American espionage agencies. Either they did it directly, or they supported some naive extremists and made them do it. But the plan was theirs.