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.

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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.
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