Iranian Commander: U.S. Not Sincere About IS

September 16, 2014  

The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, on Tuesday claimed he is doubtful that the real objective of the United States against the “Islamic State” (IS) is to eliminate the group.

According to the Iranian Shafaq News website, Jafari said in a news conference that America “feels despair” over what IS does and its influential role, so it is trying “to establish this alliance and we doubt its seriousness about eliminating ISIS.”

Jafari further claimed that the United States declared war on IS only yet still supports some of the opposition groups in Syria, stressing that the United States will “regret its attack on Syria.”

He also said that he considered the presence of Americans in Iraq as aiming to support the Kurds in the north.

The comments come a day after Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said his country had rejected a U.S. request for cooperation against the IS because Washington has “dirty hands”.

“Right from the start, the United States asked through its ambassador in Iraq whether we could cooperate against [IS],” Khamenei said in a statement on his official website.

“I said no, because they have dirty hands,” said Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters of state in Iran.

Earlier on Monday,  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waffled on his position from last Friday, when he ruled out Iran’s participation in a global coalition against IS, saying in an interview that he would be open to military cooperation with Iran.

Asked in a Yahoo interview whether the U.S. would cooperate militarily with Iran, Kerry did not rule out the option, saying, “Let’s see what Iran might or might not be willing to do before we start making any pronouncements.”

Kerry elaborated, saying, “I think we are open to any constructive process here that could minimize the violence, hold Iraq together – the integrity of the country – and eliminate the presence of outside terrorist forces that are ripping it apart. I wouldn’t rule out anything that would be constructive to providing real stability.

Two weeks ago it was reported that Khamenei had authorized his army to coordinate joint military operations with the US against ISIS in Iraq. The State Department later clarified it has “no plans” for any military coordination with Iran in the fight against Islamic State.

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