An influential Iranian cleric today called on Iraqis to participate in Iraq's planned January 30 elections. In a letter to leading Iraqi Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iran's Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri urged Iraqis to vote, saying the elections are a chance at peace and independence. Al-Sistani has called on Iraqi Shiites to vote in the elections. On Monday, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the United States and Britain of planning to hold sham elections in Iraq in order to keep control of Iraq's natural resources. U.S. and Iraqi officials accuse Iran of trying to meddle in Iraq's political development, which Tehran denies.