The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Friday strongly rejected a BBC report alleging that the country’s senior commanders have been meeting their US counterparts to coordinate attacks on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzeiyeh Afkham denied a BBC Persian report on Iran’s move to cooperate with the US against the ISIL in Iraq.
“Out stance on this issue has already been declared and the report is not true,” Afkham reiterated on Friday evening.
BBC Persian reported Friday afternoon that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei had told Commander of the IRGC Quds Force Major General Qasem Soleimani to coordinate military operations against the ISIL terrorist group.
In Washington the State Department said Friday it was not coordinating military action or sharing intelligence with Iran.
US State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf repeatedly denied US officials were working with Iran in a military or intelligence capacity.
In the past, Iran has opposed America’s involvement in Iraq.
In mid June Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani strongly dismissed reports about possible Iran-US cooperation over Iraq crisis.
The Iranian top sucurity official said on June 16 that such reports are part of the West’s “psychological warfare” against Iran and are “completely unreal.”
Shamkhani emphasized that causing horror and instability as well as inciting armed and violent campaign against the will of the public, which is manifested through free and fair elections, are among the US objectives behind establishing terrorist groups such as the ISIL.
The SNSC secretary noted that certain US allies have financial, intelligence and logistic cooperation with Washington to implement such a policy.
“As we have announced, we will examine the issue of helping (Iraq) within the framework of international regulations in case of an official request by the Iraqi government and this will be completely a bilateral process and has nothing to do with a third country,” he added.
A few days earlier in June, Afkham had stressed that Iran opposed any military intervention in Iraq.
“Iraq enjoys the necessary potential and military preparedness to fight against the terrorist and extremist elements,” Marziyeh Afkham said on June 7.
The Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman also dismissed reports about the deployment of Iranian forces in Iraq, and said, “Any move that complicates the situation in Iraq will not be in the interest of Iraq and the region.”
“We believe that the Baghdad government can fully overcome the ongoing crisis in Iraq and thwart conspiracies through consolidation of national unity and internal solidarity,” Afkham added then.