Deputy FM: Iran Suspicious of US Intention in Fight against Terrorism
(FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Iran is suspicious of the US motives in forming a coalition to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.
"Since the very first day of the crisis in Syria, we have told the westerners that supporting terrorism threatens the global security, and that Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups have grown more professional after over a decade of terrorist operations in Afghanistan and Iraq," Amir Abdollahian said in a meeting with the Kenyan parliament's National Security and Foreign Relations Commission Chairman Mohammad Yusuf Haji in Tehran on Monday.
"They can carry out dangerous terrorist operations in any part of the world and the Americans have now understood this and have called for cooperation with Iran, but we are suspicious of their intention for campaigning terrorism," he added.
During the meeting, the two sides also discussed ways to further develop bilateral relations and mutual cooperation in different arenas.
The United States declared the start of a coalition against the ISIL during a NATO summit in the Welsh city of Newport on 4-5 September. The US call was reponded by several western and Arab states, but the policy was questioned by many regional officials and political leaders.
After the so-called US-led coalition against the ISIL declared its creation, Iran lashed out at the western states for pursuing a double-standard policy towards campaign against terrorism in various countries.
Last Monday, the Iranian Supreme Leader said the US had played no role in the ISIL's recent defeat in Iraq, and stressed that Washington officials have repeatedly demanded Iran to join them in the fight against the ISIL, but Iran had rejected all their demands.
"During the days I was at the hospital, I had fun listening to the remarks of the US officials on fighting Daesh (ISIL)," Ayatollah Khamenei said in an interview with Iran's state-run TV as he left the hospital after a successful prostate surgery.
Ayatollah Khamenei described the US officials' allegations about fighting the ISIL as hollow and biased, and said the US disappointment at Iran's partnership in its incorrect and illegal coalition was an "unrivaled honor" for Tehran.
Ayatollah Khamenei elaborated on some details of the US demands for Iran's cooperation in forming the anti-ISIL coalition, and said, "During the hard days of Daesh's attacks on Iraq, the US ambassador to Iraq demanded our envoy in the country (Iraq) that Iran and the US meet for negotiations and coordination on Daesh. Our ambassador reflected the issue to Iran and although some officials didn’t voice opposition, I opposed it and said we will not cooperate with the Americans in this regard since they have a corrupt intention and stained hands and how could we have cooperation with the Americans under such conditions."
He referred to US Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks that his country wouldn’t invite Iran to the anti-ISIL coalition, and said, "The same US secretary of state had personally demanded (Iranian Foreign Minister) Dr. (Mohammad Javad) Zarif, and called for cooperation with us on Daesh but Dr. Zarif had rejected his demand."
Ayatollah Khamenei also revealed that "the US deputy secretary of state (Wendy Sherman) repeated the same demand for cooperation with Iran against the ISIL during the talks with her Iranian counterpart Seyed Abbas Araqchi, and the Iranian deputy foreign minister refused it".
He underscored Iran's firm and explicit opposition to cooperation with the US in fighting the ISIL, and said, "Now they are telling a lie that they won't accept Iran in the coalition because Iran had announced its opposition to its presence in such a coalition since the very beginning."
Ayatollah Khamenei said that the US and its allies had earlier formed "a coalition of several countries against Syria, but they couldn't do a damn thing", and ensured that the same failure will be repeated with regard to Iraq.
Reiterating that the Americans were not serious about fighting the ISIL, he said, "The Americans and even Daesh are well aware that the move which broke Daesh's backbone in Iraq was not the US action but the acts of the popular forces and the Iraqi army who had well learned the ways to fight Daesh and inflicted heavy damages on the group."
He underscored that the Iraqi popular forces and army's blows to the ISIL would continue, and said, "The reality is that the Americans are seeking an excuse to do the same actions in Iraq and Syria that they are doing in Pakistan, where they trespass on the country's territory without any permission, despite the existence of a sovereign government and a powerful army (in Pakistan), and bomb different parts."
"The Americans should know that if they do this, the same problems that were created on their way in the past ten years in Iraq will be created for them again," Ayatollah Khamenei stressed.