Iraqi political alliance of two leading Shiite coalitions orchestrated by Iran

Iyad AllawiA spokesman for the secular Iraqiya slate has said that the Iraqi political alliance by two leading Shiite coalitions was orchestrated by Iran.

It was reported that the Iraqiya slate of former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi won a narrow victory over the State of Law coalition of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in March 7 elections for the Iraqi Council of Representatives. Neither party secured the 163 seats needed to unilaterally form a government in the 325-member council, however.

State of Law announced Tuesday, however, that it formed a coalition with the Iraqi National Alliance, leaving the Shiite coalition four seats shy of a ruling majority.

Iran was behind the Shiite coalition, Haidar al-Mulla, a spokesman for Iraqiya, told Arab news station al-Jazeera.

He said, "Iranian fingerprints are obvious in the way the alliance was formed and announced."

Khalid al-Asadi, who helped form State of Law, said the allegations were "a kind of sectarian incitement."

The two Shiite slates are still without an agreement on who will serve as prime minister. A Kurdish slate that won 43 seats in the March 7 vote said it would back the alliance once a formal power-sharing agreement is reached. (With Inputs from Agencies)