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Sec. of State Kerry open to working with Iran against ISIS in Iraq

Sec. of State John Kerry: “I wouldn’t rule out anything."
By Matt Bradwell   |   June 16, 2014 at 11:27 AM  |  Updated June 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, June 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry said he will not rule out working with Iran to defend Iraq's democratically elected government in the face of the ongoing Sunni uprising.

In an interview with Yahoo News Monday, Kerry said the U.S. currently has no plans to reach out to leaders in Tehran, but it is closely monitoring the actions of the Iranian government in response to the ongoing turmoil in neighboring Iraq. Baghdad, like Tehran, is politically controlled by Shiites. Iran in the world's largest Shiite country.

"I wouldn't 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 the interests of Iraq," Kerry said.

Sunni militants calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have used force to take the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit, and are believed to be advancing toward Baghdad. Originally a part of al-Qaida, ISIS broke off from the terrorist group in April 2013 over disagreements stemming from the ongoing civil war in Syria. Al-Qaida has condemned ISIS' actions.

When asked if ISIS could successfully take Iraq's capital, a key target in the groups effort to combine Iraq and Syria into one unified Islamic country, Kerry said he does not believe they have the resources, but much of what will influence their success or failure will be determined in the days ahead.

For now, the Pentagon will be weighing its options as events unfold in both Iraq and the international community.

"This is complicated. And it is not something where any number of forces of the United States would have made the difference or are going to make the difference right now. This is about the internal politics and governance of Iraq."
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Topics: John Kerry
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