It appears the Obama administration and Secretary of State John Kerry were against Iran joining the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State terrorists before they were for it.

While Iran has nearly disappeared from world news reports since the organization calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began capturing territories won by United States forces in the Iraq War, tensions between Washington and Tehran have been evident in the efforts the U.S. has made in forming a regional coalition against the jihadist war in Iraq and Syria that has featured the public beheading of two American and one British journalist. The United States worked to exclude Iran from a French diplomatic meeting about the militants, the Washington Post reported, but has, nonetheless, sought Iran’s influence in the coalition to defeat the Islamic State.

“The coalition required to eliminate ISIL is not only, or even primarily, military in nature,” Kerry said at a recent United Nations Security Council meeting about the militants. “It must be comprehensive and include close collaboration across multiple lines of effort…. There is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran.”

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has a given qualified endorsement to the U.S.-led attacks on Islamic State targets, approving of them in Iraq, where military assistance has been requested by the government, but not in Syria where it has not.

“Whatever steps they take, the legitimate sovereign government of the country must be informed and give its genuine consent,” said Rouhani, speaking to reporters while in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly. Criticizing Western nations for being slow to come to Iraq’s defense in the war being waged by the Islamic State, Rouhani said the U.S-led coalition should join Iran in that effort, rather than Iran joining the coalition. “Had it not been for Iran’s timely assistance, many of the Iraqi cities would have fallen to the hands of these vicious terrorists,” he said.

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