Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has permitted his country to cooperate with the United States in fighting Islamic State extremists in the region, The BBC Persian reported Friday.
Iran, a Shi'ite nation, views the Islamic State - an extremist Sunni organization that has taken control of areas in Syria and Iraq - as a serious threat.
According to the BBC report, Khamenei has authorized Iranian military officials to meet with leaders of the American army.
Sources also told the BBC Persian that Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' special Quds Force, was authorized to lead Iran's coordination on combating Islamic State militants.
Further details of what the military co-operation between Tehran and Washington would entail were not reported.
While reports surfaced in late August that Iran would agree to take steps on the issue of the extremist insurgents in neighboring Iraq in exchange for progress in nuclear talks with world powers, Tehran quickly denied them
Washington has responded cautiously to previous Iranian offers to cooperate with the United States on stabilizing Iraq, which like Iran has a majority Shi'ite population.
Western officials have repeatedly said they do not want to mix the nuclear dossier with events elsewhere in the region.Meanwhile, Israel has warned the West
against partnering with what Jerusalem views as one bad actor in order to combat another in light of signs that Western leaders were considering cooperationg with Iran to halt the march of ISlamic extremists like the Islamic State, government officials said in August.Reuters and Herb Keinon contributed to this report.