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U.N.: Iraqi Elections Unlikely by July 1

U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says he supports a prominent Shiite cleric's calls for direct elections for an interim authority in Iraq. The cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, wants elections before the transfer of power the U.S. wants to occur on July 1. U.N. officials say elections by that date are unlikely, though they could occur late this year or early next year. Hear NPR's Deborah Amos.

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Deborah Amos covers the Middle East for NPR News. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.