Kerry says Iran has role to play in global campaign against Islamic State

"The coalition required to eliminate ISIL (Islamic State) is not only, or even primarily, military in nature," Kerry told a United Nations Security Council meeting on Iraq.

By REUTERS
September 19, 2014 23:22
1 minute read.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Iran had a role to play in a global coalition to tackle Islamic State militants who have seized swaths of Iraq and Syria and proclaimed a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.

"The coalition required to eliminate ISIL (Islamic State) is not only, or even primarily, military in nature," Kerry told a United Nations Security Council meeting on Iraq.

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"It must be comprehensive and include close collaboration across multiple lines of effort. It's about taking out an entire network, decimating and discrediting a militant cult masquerading as a religious movement," he said. "There is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran."

The United States, president of the UN Security Council for September, called the meeting on Iraq as it builds an international military, political and financial coalition to defeat the radical Sunni Muslim group.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, this week said he had rejected an offer by Washington for talks on fighting Islamic State. Iran is the principal ally of Islamic State's main foes in both Iraq and Syria.

US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that so far 40 nations had pledged to help. French jets struck a suspected Islamic State target in Iraq for the first time on Friday, joining a US bombing campaign that started a month ago.

"In 2003 acting against Iraq was something that divided this council, in 2014 acting for Iraq and against the Daesh terrorists is a duty for all of us," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the UN Security Council, referring to French opposition to a 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.



Daesh is an Arabic acronym for the group that now calls itself Islamic State.

The UN Security Council adopted a statement on Thursday urging "the international community, in accordance with international law, to further strengthen and expand support for the government of Iraq as it fights ISIL (Islamic State) and associated armed groups."

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