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Iran – anti-Islamic State coalition ‘shrouded in serious ambiguities’

ANKARA:  Iran said on Thursday the emerging international coalition to battle Islamic State militants was “shrouded in serious ambiguities”, Iranian state television reported.

Islamic State fighters have seized major Iraqi cities and towns bordering Iran and Tehran has expressed concern about their rapid advance and the upsurge in violence.

“The so-called international coalition to fight the ISIL group … is shrouded in serious ambiguities and there are severe misgivings about its determination to sincerely fight the root causes of terrorism,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted by state TV as saying.

She did not mention specifically a call by U.S. President Barack Obama for a broad coalition to root out Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and said some coalition members were “financial and military supporters of terrorists in Iraq and Syria”.

Obama also said on Wednesday that he had authorised U.S. air strikes for the first time in Syria and more attacks in Iraq in an escalation of a campaign against Islamic State.

Tehran says it is not in talks with Washington about the insurgency in Iraq and is instead focused on resolving issues over the country’s nuclear programme.

“In the negotiations with America, no issue but the nuclear issue has been discussed,” she said.

The United States and other world powers are in negotiations with Iran on limiting Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for an end to sanctions.

The nuclear talks are due to resume in New York next week. – Reuters

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