News / Middle East

Kerry: US 'Open to Discussions' With Iran on Iraq Fighting

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers opening remarks at the
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers opening remarks at the "Our Ocean" conference at the State Department in Washington, June 16, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration may be willing to work with Iran militarily against al-Qaida-affiliated Sunni militants who are moving rapidly through northern Iraq.  Kerry calls the advance by Syrian-based fighters an "existential" danger to Iraq.

Kerry commented Monday during an interview with Katie Couric, Yahoo News' global anchor.  

He said the United States is "open to any constructive process" that could minimize the violence in Iraq and hold the country together, including cooperation with Iran.

"We're open to discussions if there is something constructive that can be contributed by Iran, if Iran is prepared to do something that is going to respect the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq and the ability of the government to reform," said Kerry.

On whether the U.S. would cooperate militarily with Iran, Kerry said the need is to go "step by step... but I would not rule out anything that would be constructive to providing real stability, a respect for the constitution, a respect for the election process, and a respect for the ability of the Iraqi people to form a government that represents all of the interests of Iraq, not one sectarian group over another.  It has to be inclusive, and that has been one of the great problems of the last few years."

However at the Pentagon, Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters Monday that there was "absolutely no intention and no plan to coordinate military activities" with Iran with respect to the situation in Iraq. Kirby did not rule out possible discussions with Iran on the sidelines of the P5+1 talks.

Images from Iraq
 
  • A member of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces stands guard during an intensive security deployment in Baghdad's Amiriya district, June 18, 2014.
  • Shi'ite volunteers who joined the Iraqi army to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant gesture with their weapons in Baghdad, June 18, 2014.
  • A member of Iraqi security forces stands guard in front of volunteers who joined the army to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Baghdad, June 17, 2014.
  • Shi'ite tribal fighters raise their weapons and chant slogans against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Basra, Iraq, June 16, 2014.
  • Mehdi Army fighters loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr march during military-style training in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq, June 16, 2014.
  • Iraqi army soldiers stand guard in Baghdad, June 16, 2014.
  • A volunteer who joined the Iraqi Army to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant holds a weapon during a parade in Al-Fdhiliya district, eastern Baghdad, June 15, 2014.
  • A vehicle belonging to Kurdish security forces fires a multiple rocket launcher during clashes with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on the outskirts of Diyala, Iraq, June 14, 2014.
  • This image posted on a militant website on June 14, 2014 appears to show militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant with captured Iraqi soldiers wearing plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq.
  • This image posted on a militant website on June 14, 2014 appears to show militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant with captured Iraqi soldiers wearing plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq.


U.S. officials have criticized Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for not doing more to include more Sunni and Kurdish leaders in the government in Baghdad.

A senior State Department official said Sunday that Secretary Kerry spoke with his counterparts from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates about combating fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

Kerry told Couric those militants are a challenge to the region and "clearly are focused not just there, but they’re focused on trying to do harm to Europe, to America and other people."

Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Bill Burns is in Geneva for international talks on limiting Iran's nuclear program.  A senior State Department officials says Burns may have discussions with Iranian officials about Iraq but those would be "completely and separately" removed from nuclear negotiations.

You May Like

Amnesty: EU Failing Migrants, Refugees

Rights group says migrants, refugees subject to detention, extortion, beatings More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Foowy from: usa
June 16, 2014 10:58 PM
As Infowars.com has documented for more than a decade, the war on terror is in fact a contrived event designed to level nations through “creative destruction” and establish a high-tech surveillance police state at home.

ISIS, as we have shown, was engineered by the CIA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. It is based on a template used in Afghanistan to take down the Soviet Union, as the globalist operative Zbigniew Brzezinski has readily admitted. The Afghan Mujahideen became the Taliban and al-Qaeda and, over the last two years, al-Qaeda morphed into a more ominous and darkly menacing threat operating strategically in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

ISIS, al-Shabaab, al-Nusra, Boko Haram, etc., these are not coincidentally formed terror organizations. They are the shock troops of the New World Order.

by: Anthonybellchambers from: London
June 16, 2014 3:34 PM
The potentially ground-breaking rapprochement between the United States and Iran, as partners for peace in their mutual desire to stabilise the the Iraqi democratic government, has consequently left Israel vulnerable and isolated.

At a stroke, Netanyahu's influence in Washington has all but disappeared as he becomes a virtual irrelevance in a conflict that is infinitely more important to the international community than his illegal settlement policy that continues to violate international law. Similarly irrelevant is his failed strategy to persuade the US to attack Iran, the most stable state in the Middle East.

The question that requires an answer is: what influence, if any, did the Israeli government have in persuading discredited former US president George W Bush to attack Saddam Hussein in 2003 - a move that has now given birth to the dangerous instability that threatens the entire region, its tens of millions of peoples and its essential oil supplies?

And the second question is: for how much longer will the US congress continue to vote billions of American tax-dollars to a state that is alleged to have been complicit in the Bush-Blair coalition agreement that is known to have cost in excess of 100,000 Iraqi, American and British lives as it led its respective countries to war without a legitimate mandate?

Finally, there is the question of whether that fateful decision to attack Iraq in 2003 constituted a war crime that should now be determined by the International Criminal Court with a formal indictment of the then political leaders concerned.
_____________________________________________________

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deali
X
July 07, 2015 12:02 PM
If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs