News / USA

Pentagon: No Plans to Consult Iran Over Possible Action in Iraq

FILE- Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby speaks at a news briefing about the situation in Iraq, at the Pentagon, June 13, 2014.
FILE- Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby speaks at a news briefing about the situation in Iraq, at the Pentagon, June 13, 2014.
The Pentagon is downplaying speculation about U.S. and Iranian military cooperation in Iraq, hours after Secretary of State John Kerry made the suggestion in an interview.  A military spokesman told reporters Monday the U.S. is not planning to work with Iran militarily to protect its troubled neighbor

With militant Islamic fighters claiming new cities in Iraq and distributing video purporting to show mass executions, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised the possibility of working with Iran to stem the crisis.

In an interview with with Katie Couric, Yahoo News' global anchor,  Kerry called the advance by the Syrian-based al-Qaida affiliate an "existential" danger to Iraq. He suggested the U.S. may need to go "step by step" with Iran, and on whether to cooperate militarily said, "I would not rule out anything."

Kerry told Couric the 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."

A few hours later at the Pentagon, Rear Admiral John Kirby made clear that right now, the U.S. military is prepared to go only so far.  
 
"There are no plans to have consultations with Iran about military activities in Iraq,” Kirby said.

He did not address reports that Iran already has sent members of its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps into Iraq. Both Kirby and Kerry suggested the possibility of talks with Iran this week regarding the situation inside Iraq.

“We encourage Iran, like all the neighbors in the region, to play a constructive role, to respect the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Iraq while Iraq is going through this difficult time,” said Kirby.

At the State Department, spokeswoman Jen Psaki also said the U.S. encourages Iran's government to play a role "in reducing the sectarian nature of how Iraq is being governed, that that's a role that they could play," Psaki said. "We don't feel it's useful for the Iraqis to rely on the capacity of Iran's security forces."

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

U.S. defense officials said they are continuing to prepare a range of military options to present to President Barack Obama, designed to help the Iraqi security forces and break ISIL’s momentum.

The U.S. already has sent about 100 additional troops to help with security at its embassy in Baghdad. And in recent days, the Pentagon has ordered the USS George H.W. Bush, an aircraft carrier, and guided missile destroyers into the Persian Gulf.

On Monday, officials announced the USS Mesa Verde also is heading into the Gulf with 550 Marines and five Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, capable of evacuating personnel if needed.

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.

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

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: George Sayre from: Nevada
June 16, 2014 7:15 PM
An oil embargo if we take the wrong side?


by: meanbill from: USA
June 16, 2014 6:30 PM
MY OPINION? -- Iran is more worried about that US carrier task force, and the US intentions, on what they plan to do with it? -- Could it's planes attack an Iran nuclear reactor?


by: meanbill from: USA
June 16, 2014 5:45 PM
MY OPINION? -- The Iran and US meeting on the Iraq conflict was called off, because Iran demanded to know what side the US was on -- (WAS IT?) -- (the Sunni US armed terrorists and Sunni US trained Security Forces) -- (OR?) -- will the US now support the Shia Maliki Iraq government, in this Iraq conflict?

THE WORLD would like to know too? -- (What side is America on), when they armed the Sunni terrorists in Syria, and trained the Sunni Security Forces now fighting against the Iraq government? --- (Yea, like the US is going to tell Iran?)


by: richard enders
June 16, 2014 5:21 PM
it's one thing to be boring , but John kerry just seems to be in way over his head. he misunderstands the intentions of iran, and believes that we have a common interest here? My god. Yes both want ISIS less powerful. But our ultimate objectives are quite different. Has he watched too many movies?


by: Fred Flintsone
June 16, 2014 5:01 PM
Syrian gov bombing the western supported opposition in Iraq, talks of Iran and US going in jointly.One big dark comedy.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid