Iraq crisis: Iran could join forces with US to half neighbour's jihadi threat

The Iranian President did not rule out a potential alliance with America to help rid Iraq of the extremist threat

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that the country is ready to assist Iraq in its battle against extremist Sunni Islamists.

In a speech made at a news conference to mark a year since Rouhani’s victory in the 2013 presidential election, he indicated that Iran would be willing to offer support in the Iraqi government’s fight against the extremist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis), which has made significant territorial gains in the country over the last week.

In the speech he said: “If the Iraqi government asks us for help, we may provide any assistance the Iraqi nation would like us to provide in the fight against terrorism."

After being asked if Iran was prepared to cooperate with America in Iraq, Rouhani said: "All countries need to embark on joint effort regarding terrorism.

"At the moment, it's the government of Iraq and the people of Iraq that are fighting terrorism.

"We have not seen the US do anything for now. Any time the Americans start to take action against terrorist groups, we can consider that."

The largely Shia Iranian government has close links to the Shia Iraqi government that came in to power after former leader Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

Both are seen as infidels by the Sunni group Isis.

Rouhani dismissed reports that troops had already been sent to Iraq by the Iranian government, saying that the “engagement of forces had not been discussed.”

The Iraqi government has been under serious pressure this week with insurgents from the extremist group Isis country taking key cities in the north of the country and forcing the Iraqi army to retreat.

Isis, whose stated aim is the establishment of a caliphate governed under a strict interpretation of Sharia law, took the country’s second biggest city, Mosul, on Thursday and there are real fears that they could reach Baghdad in the near future.

There have been reports that Isis has carried out terrible atrocities during their campaign through Iraq.

According to reports, Isis members have been accused of rape, torture and the execution of thousands.

On Friday, Rupert Colville said the UN's mission in Iraq (UNAMI) had received reports that "the number of people killed in recent days may run into the hundreds and the number of wounded is said to be approaching 1,000."

Read More:  Sunni caliphate bankrolled by Saudi Arabia
Executions and rape by militants reported
Baghdad prepares for worst as militants vow to take the capital

The gains made by Isis have led to many in the international community becoming increasingly worried about the threat of Isis and Iraqi authorities’ inability in dealing with it.

Barack Obama has consistently said that Isis could pose a threat to “American interests” and that Iraq would need additional support to "break the momentum of extremist groups and bolster the capabilities of Iraqi security forces".

Earlier today, a senior US official told the Guardian that the US were stepping up their and discussions about a potential air strike campaign was under “serious discussion.”

In his speech today, Rouhani acknowledged the possibility of America assisting Iran and left the door open for a potential alliance between Iran and the US in combating Isis.

 

Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
food + drinkMeat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin