US Secretary of State John Kerry says Iran has “a role to play” in the campaign against the ISIL terrorist group, which is operating in Syria and Iraq.
The United States says it is assembling a broad and international coalition to “degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL.”
“The coalition required to eliminate ISIL is not only, or even primarily, military in nature,” Kerry said on Friday at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Iraq. “It must be comprehensive and include close collaboration across multiple lines of effort.”
“There is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the US State Department said that American and Iranian officials held discussions on the issue on the sidelines of the nuclear talks.
On Monday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Washington only established the US-led coalition against ISIL in order to attempt to expand its military presence in the Middle East region.
In an interview with NBC News on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the coalition against the ISIL terrorists “ridiculous”, saying the coalition members include those who provided ISIL with weapons and training.
The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, control large parts of Syria’s northern territory. ISIL sent its fighters into Iraq in June, quickly seizing vast expanse of land straddling the border between the two countries.
Tehran has repeatedly expressed support for the Iraqi government in its campaign against the Takfiri militants and was the first country to provide military assistance to Iraqi Kurdish forces fighting ISIL.