Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has strongly denounced Islamic State as being shamefully anti-Islam, but called the U.S.-led coalition to fight the extremists "ridiculous."
In an interview with NBC television, Rouhani criticized President Barack Obama's refusal to send U.S. ground forces back into Iraq. Rouhani asked whether it is possible to defeat terrorists without sacrifices and hardship.
But he did acknowledge that airstrikes may be necessary under some conditions.
President Rouhani condemned the beheadings of two U.S. journalists and a British aid worker by Islamic State, calling it at odds with Islamic culture.
He said that under Islam, the murder of an innocent person is like killing all of humanity. He said the decapitations are a matter of sorrow for all mankind and that Iran will give Iraq any support it needs for fighting Islamic State.