National Security Advisor Susan Rice said the U.S. has had “informal consultations” with Iran but is not “in coordination or direct consultation with the Iranians about any aspect of the fight against ISIL.”
“We are not coordinating — we are doing this very differently and independently. Our coalition is comprised of some 60 countries. All of our core allies in the Gulf region of the Arab world, most of our NATO partners, many of our traditional partners from outside, including Australia. It’s a very broad-based, very comprehensive coalition that has come together to deal with the threat from ISIL,” Rice told Meet the Press on Sunday.
“And it’s gratifying that countries from all over the world share the same perception of the threat that ISIL poses. Iran may or may not be among those but they are not a part of our coalition.”
Rice the U.S. is still “engaging Iran on the nuclear issue” and “have had informal consultations on the margins of the nuclear talks about certain regional issues.”
“There’s no coordination,” she said. “There’s no collaboration on the anti-ISIL campaign.”
Iran’s supreme leader came out today with a scathing rebuke of the U.S. effort against the Islamic State.
“If anyone fuels the fire in this regard, he or she will definitely be helping sinister America and Britain which are the creators of the ISIL and al-Qaeda,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, according to Iran’s Press TV, urging Muslims to not get involved in the coalition.
“Shias and Sunnis shouldn’t help the enemy by desecrating their sanctities and provoking one another’s sentiments,” he said, calling ISIS and al-Qaeda a plot created by the West to challenge Iran.
Iran has given safe haven to al-Qaeda leaders including Muhsin al-Fadhli, who moved to Syria and started the Khorasan office at the direction of Ayman al-Zawahiri.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf was asked at Friday’s press briefing if the P5+1 nuclear talks deadline — already extended once — would be moved past Nov. 24.
“We believe there is sufficient time in the time that remains, adequate, sufficient, enough time to work through the issues we have to arrive at a comprehensive agreement by November 24th. It’s in everyone’s interests to get to a comprehensive agreement that assures the international community that Iran’s program is entirely for peaceful purposes, that they cannot get a nuclear weapon,” Harf said.
“By the 24th — next week, we’ll be going — as you know, the secretary will have a trilateral meeting with Cathy Ashton and Foreign Minister Zarif. There’ll be a bilateral U.S.-Iran meeting the day before. There’s enough time. We know what the issues are. There’s a path forward here, but we all need to take it.”