09/22/2014, 00.00
USA - IRAN
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Islamic State threat pushes United States and Iran to discuss nuclear issue

US Secretary of State Kerry meets with Tehran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. For the Americans, Iran has a role to play. In an effort to broaden the coalition in the fight against the jihadists, Kerry speaks with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.

New York (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The enlargement of the coalition against the Islamic State (IS) and the Iranian nuclear negotiations are becoming entangles these days in New York, in talks between the United States, Iran and Russia, on the sidelines of the meetings of the Security Council and UN General Assembly.

Yesterday, Sunday, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, held a meeting with the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, although there are no diplomatic relations between the two countries. A senior State Department official said that the two discussed the nuclear negotiations and "even the threat" of IS. He added that Iran - usually seen by the United States as the super-enemy - has a role to play while the United States seek to build a coalition to fight the jihadists.

The United States and Iran, therefore, have discussed the threat of the Islamic State, even though they formally continue to deny it. Last week, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, had claimed that his government had rejected an American proposal to join the coalition. Washington, for its part, has always publicly denied any possibility of military cooperation with Tehran, seen as a sponsor of global terrorism and ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  

As for the nuclear talks, despite more sanctions recently decided by Washington, the US official said that "they discussed the status of negotiations between the 5 +1 (the five members of the Security Council, namely the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France, plus Germany)". "They both spoke of the progress and of work that still needs to be done."

Kerry also spoke yesterday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov regarding the coalition against the IS. During a phone conversation, according to a US official, they discussed "how to extend the work begun on the role Russia can play in the coalition". The official declined to give further details, saying that "we've been pretty clear about the menu of ways to contribute ... so I think we're looking to hear from the Russians what their intentions are".

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