WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama has written to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to express a "shared interest" in fighting the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria, an American newspaper reported Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal, citing people briefed on the secret communication, said the letter was sent in the middle of last month, in which the president tied potential cooperation on fighting extremists to a comprehensive deal over Iran's controversial nuclear program.
In the letter, Obama stressed that "any cooperation on Islamic State was largely contingent on Iran reaching a comprehensive agreement with global powers on the future of Tehran's nuclear program by a Nov. 24 diplomatic deadline," the newspaper said.
Foreign ministers of the United States, the European Union and Iran are scheduled to meet in Muscat, Oman's capital, on Nov. 9-10, as Tehran and the so-called P5+1 group of Britain, China,France, Russia, the United States plus Germany are set to resume talks on Nov. 18 in the Austrian capital of Vienna to push for a final deal by the cut-off date.
While Washington is leading airstrikes on the Islamic State targets inside Iraq and Syria, Tehran is also offering support to the Iraqi government.
The U.S. broke diplomatic ties with Iran in April 1980 following a 1979 hostage crisis in the American embassy in Tehran, the Iranian capital, but Obama has sent at least four letters to Khamenei since taking office in January 2009, according to the newspaper.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest refused to make a comment, saying "I'm not in a position to discuss private correspondence between the president and any world leader."
"The United States will not cooperate militarily with Iran in that effort," he reiterated Washington's stand on the ongoing battle against the Islamic State. "We won't share intelligence with them."
ANKARA, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi government asks foreign counties for military support, including equipment and training of security forces, but the country does not want foreign troops in its territory to fight the Islamic State (IS), Iraq Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said in the Turkish capital Ankara on Thursday.
"Only Iraqi people will fight in territory of Iraq," al-Jaafari, who is paying a visit to Turkey, said at a conference in the International Strategic Research Organization in Ankara. Full story
LONDON, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Britain is planning to offer more military training and advisory personnel to Iraq to help local forces combat extremist Islamic State (IS) militant group, British Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced Wednesday.
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon announced the plans Wednesday during a visit to Iraq, the MoD said in a statement. Full story