TEHRAN, July 13 (UPI) -- Iran's spiritual guide, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Khamenei, accused Israel and the United States of involvement in the kidnapping of foreigners in Iraq.
"We have strong suspicions that elements working for America and Israel are involved in terrorist acts in Iraq, especially the kidnapping of foreigners," Khamenei was quoted as saying by the Iranian News Agency, IRNA, Tuesday.
He said such acts as kidnapping and beheading innocent foreigners is not the work of Muslims.
"We cannot believe that Muslims are behind the kidnapping of Filipinos and other foreign workers and behind killings (such) as the beheading of an American citizen," he said in obvious reference to Nicholas Berg who was beheaded by suspected members of al-Qaida in Iraq led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Recalling the assassinations that plagued Iran during the first years of the Islamic revolution, he said, "The same elements who were behind those terrorist acts are now enjoying the coverage of countries which pretend to combat terrorism."