Iran Analysis: Rouhani Tries Again for Cooperation With US Over Iraq

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Last month the Rouhani Government was checked by high-ranking officials in its invitation to the US to cooperate in the fight against the Iraqi insurgency.

However, it appears the President and his inner circle are trying again.

In an interview with a Japanese newspaper, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani — the President’s mentor and the head of the Expediency Council — said:

Iran and the United States have common interests in Iraq. And there is no obstacle to cooperation. If the two countries deem it necessary that there is a need for cooperation, they may make planning in this regard

After Iraqi insurgents seized the cities of Mosul and Tikrit on June 10-11 and advanced on Baghdad, President Rouhani said Tehran would consider working with the US to support Iraqi security forces. He was rejected with the claims of senior officials — including Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, the Secretary of the National Security Council, and military commanders — that the US had created the jihadist Islamic State, a leading force in the Iraqi insurgency.

In sharp contrast to those statements, Rafsanjani said in the interview, “Iran, Iraq, and the United States have become involved in fighting terrorism. Eliminating terrorists is a common issue of interest and beneficial to all.”

He explained that Iran and the US could cooperate through the “exchange of intelligence and experience as well as through mutual fiscal and technological assistance”.

And the former President, far from denouncing US intervention, said he understand the US decision to send several hundred military advisors and special forces to Iraq.

Rafsanjani maintained Tehran’s line that it has no military presence in Iraq, although it has advisors in Baghdad.

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