U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has dismissed any cooperation with the Iranian regime in fighting the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Mr. Kerry said during a visit to Baghdad on Wednesday. “The United States does not cooperate, militarily or otherwise, nor does it have any intention in this process of doing so, with Iran,” The New York Times reported.
The Iranian regime has been backing Shiite militias in Iraq who are fighting ISIS, sending drones over Iraq from an airfield in Baghdad and shipping tons of military equipment to the Iraqis.
A major summit of US and Arab officials will take place in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Thursday to discuss the formation of a coalition to confront terrorism in the region.
The meeting will be attended by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon, as well as the United States.
An announcement was made late on Wednesday that Iraq would also be joining the meeting but there will be no discussion at this time about the Iranian regime’s participation in this alliance.
A US official told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The United States is looking forward to learning what the region’s states and allies can do to confront terrorism.”
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The issue is not about increasing the number of countries who will confront the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups, but about clear actions and positions towards these groups.”
The official added: “There will be no discussion at this time about Iran’s participation in this alliance,” and that Washington did not see any role for the Iranian regime within the coalition.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Secretary Kerry are expected to hold a joint news conference on Thursday to give details about the meeting, including the ways to curb the activities of extremist groups, including ISIS.