The PJ Tatler

Ayatollah: U.S. Asked Iran for ISIS Coalition Meeting But Was Rebuffed

Iraq’s supreme leader said that he was approached by the U.S. about joining a coalition to fight the Islamic State — or, in the Arabic acronym, the Daesh — but the Islamic Republic rebuffed Washington.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke to reporters Monday after being discharged from the hospital, where he underwent prostate surgery and spent a week in recovery, according to remarks carried by the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA):

“What has happened in Iraq which broke the backbone of Daesh was not done by Americans but by the Iraqi people and Army. Both Daesh and Americans know this well,” said the Leader.

He added there are evidences indicating that US claims about fighting Daesh terrorists “are lies.”

Commenting on statements of the US Secretary of State about not inviting Iran to join the so-called anti-Daesh coalition, the Leader said: “We are proud that the US has become disappointed at Iran not having a part in a collective wrongdoing.”

But Iran announced from the very beginning that it would not join such a coalition, said Ayatollah Khamenei.

On the very first days of Daesh incursion into Iraq, the US ambassador to that country asked his Iranian counterpart for a meeting between Iranian and American officials to dicuss bilateral cooperation on the issue of Daesh terrorists.

The Supreme Leader said he was opposed to the “Americans’ request” after being informed of the issue by Iranian officials.

“I said we do not work with the Americans as they have evil intentions and stained hands. How is it possible to cooperate with Americans under such circumstances?”

Referring to failure of US previous coalition for Syria, the Leader said: “In the past Americans had formed a coalition against Syria with a heavy propaganda fuss but they failed to do a damned thing. This will be true for their coalition on Iraq too.”

At a Friday press conference in Turkey, Secretary of State John Kerry was asked about engaging with Iran on the ISIS fight.

“Iran has been deeply involved with its forces on the ground in Syria. IRGC forces are on the ground,” Kerry said. “So there would have to be much greater clarity and understanding of exactly what the purpose was and what the meaning was of any kind of presence, which is the only thing that stands in the way, as well as they’re a state sponsor of terror in various places.”

Khamenei also tweeted that Foreign Minister Javad Zarif “rejected US Secretary of State’s offer too.”