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.

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future