The United States has reiterated its position that two important issues involving Iran remain separate: the negotiations between Iran, the EU, and the P5+1 countries over Iran’s nuclear program; and Iran’s possible participation in an international effort to defeat the brutal terrorist group ISIL.
Iran, the EU, and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) are currently engaged in a new round of talks in New York aimed at reaching a comprehensive agreement over Iran’s nuclear program before a self-imposed deadline of November 24. A comprehensive agreement would provide verifiable assurance that Iran’s nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes.
At a press conference, White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said the discussions between Iran, the EU, and the P5+1 are aimed at resolving the international community’s concerns about the Iranian nuclear program and “are entirely separate from any of the overlapping interests Iran may have with the broader international community as it relates to ISIL.”
Mr. Earnest noted that like the rest of the international community, Iranians “are understandably concerned about the gains that ISIL has made in Iraq, and they have indicated that they are ready to fight ISIL.”
The United States and Iran have engaged in conversations about ISIL on the sidelines of the P5+1 talks. But, Mr. Earnest said, “The United States will not coordinate any of our military activities with the Iranians:
“The United States will not be involved in sharing intelligence with the Iranians. And the United States will not be in a position of trading aspects of Iran’s nuclear program to secure commitments to take on ISIL.”
“These two issues are entirely separate,” said White House Spokesman Earnest, and the focus of the P5+1 talks will remain on resolving the international community’s concerns about the Iranian nuclear program.”