Informed sources strongly rejected the allegations by Washington officials that they have discussed fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Takfiri terrorist group during the nuclear talks in New York, stressing that the negotiations only focused on nuclear issues.
“The ongoing negotiations with the American side are within the framework of the talks with the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) and are exclusively focused on the nuclear issue and no other topic could be raised in these negotiations,” an informed source, who asked to remain unnamed, said on Monday evening.
Yet, he said this has been the US side which has expressed some viewpoints on the ISIL terrorist group on the sidelines of the bilateral meeting with Iranian officials, but the Iranian team has avoided such a discussion.
The Associated Press in a news report quoted a US official as saying that the ISIL and its threat had been among the topics of discussion between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his US counterpart John Kerry.
Kerry met Zarif for more than an hour at a hotel on Sunday, during which they discussed progress in nuclear negotiations and “also discussed the threat posed by ISIL,” a senior State Department official was quoted as saying by AP and some other western media.
The US official claimed that Kerry had said at the meeting that Iran had a role to play as the United States seeks to build a coalition to combat the ISIL, which has seized control of swaths of Iraq and Syria.
Earlier today, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri also rejected the AP report, saying, “Based on what I know, the Iranian delegation which is negotiating on nuclear issues is merely qualified to discuss nuclear topics within a specified framework; the Americans may, of course, have said a word about the ISIL but what is not clear (in such claims) is the response given by the Iranian delegation.”
“The Americans are attempting to gain legitimacy for their anti-ISIL campaign through the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Jazzayeri said in an interview with the Iran-based Arabic-language Al-Alam news channel on Monday.
“We declare very clearly that the US lacks the needed legitimacy for fighting terrorism because, the US nurtures terrorism the same moment that it claims to be fighting against the terrorists,” he added.
Last week, a senior Iranian commander underlined Washington’s role in the creation of the ISIL, and strongly dismissed reports about possible Iran-US cooperation over Iraq’s crisis.
“Such cooperation (between Iran and the US) is not possible at all because Iran is standing against the ISIL, while the United States has created the ISIL,” Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said.
Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham questioned the goal of the so-called international coalition formed to fight the ISIL terrorist group, and lashed out at Washington and its allies for pursuing a double-standard policy towards campaign against terrorism in various countries.
“The so-called international coalition to fight the ISIL group, which came into existence following a NATO summit in Wales and is taking shape, is shrouded in serious ambiguities and there are severe misgivings about its determination to sincerely fight the root causes of terrorism,” Afkham said.
“Some of the countries in the coalition are among financial and military supporters of terrorists in Iraq and Syria and some others have reneged on their international duties in the hope of (seeing) their desired political changes in Iraq and Syria,” she added.
She noted that the double standards adopted by these countries in dealing with extremism have contributed to the spread of terrorism across the world.