U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Iran had a role to play in a global coalition to defeat 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.
“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 U.N. 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.
U.S. 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 U.S. bombing campaign that started a month ago.
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