Bloomberg reports: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said a U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State is “pointless,” as members of the alliance met today to coordinate efforts against the militant group.
“Actions that were carried out in Iraq and broke the back of Islamic State were not the deed of Americans but those of the army and people of Iraq,” Khamenei said today in comments on his official website. He said the coalition is “pointless, superficial and has an agenda.”
While U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets helped Kurdish and government forces recapture some of the territory lost to the al-Qaeda breakaway group, Iranian-backed militias have also aided the fight against the Sunni extremists. [Continue reading…]
AFP reports: British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Monday urged Iran to cooperate with an international coalition to fight jihadists in Iraq even if Tehran did not join the group.
Hammond made the call in Paris after a major conference on Iraq as Iran refused to join an anti-jihadist coalition.
“It was always unlikely that Iran would become a fully-fledged member of the coalition but I think we should continue to hope that Iran will align itself broadly with the direction that the coalition is going,” Hammond told reporters.
He also said he hoped Iran would be “cooperative with the plans that the coalition is putting in place, if not actively a part of the coalition.” [Continue reading…]