As the United States considers working with geopolitical foe Iran to quell insurgent violence in Iraq, Iranian officials gave conflicting statements to the Financial Times about the willingness of the country to participate with the U.S., with one official saying that the U.S. had to “clear up its mess” in Iraq or risk losing Mideast credibility.
“The U.S. has no choice but to clear up this mess in Iraq, otherwise its achievements and credibility in the region will be gone,” one senior Iranian official told FT. “The U.S. should remove this infection [Sunni insurgents] from the region.”
Another official called the prospect of this meeting of enemies “totally unreal.” Meanwhile, Iranian Prime Minister Hassan Rouhani intimated a willingness to cooperate with the U.S., though stopped short of offering ground troops.
The majority-Shia Iran has brief common cause with the U.S. against the Sunni insurgents who comprise ISIS, the Islamic militant group that seized control of several major Iraqi cities last week. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is accused by ISIS of shutting Sunnis out of recent elections.
[h/t Financial Times]
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