Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday phoned Iraqi leaders to help work out an impasse in election law that could delay a national vote set for January.

Biden called leaders to "commend them for working together to find a solution to the election law impasse," according to a White House readout of the call.

"He encouraged them to finalize an arrangement that would be fair to all sides and that would allow national elections, as desired by the Iraqi people and as outlined in Iraq's constitution," the White House explained.

Iraqi leaders have been locked in sectarian battles over the national election law, over which different religious groups have battled for allocation of power for a new government.

The election is seen as a key step toward establishing political infrastructure for Iraq after the withdrawal of U.S. troops, as well as a major test of Iraq's existing political leadership.

The election is scheduled for January, but is widely expected to be delayed in no small part due to the squabbles over the rules governing the contests.