Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States is interested in sharing key information with Tehran over the ongoing crisis in Iraq.
The comments from the Secretary came in an interview released Thursday and taped late Wednesday with NBC News.
“We are interested in communicating with Iran – that the Iranians know what we’re thinking, that we know what they’re thinking and there is a sharing of information so people aren’t making mistakes,” said Secretary Kerry.
When asked if the US would work hand-in-hand on the ground with Iran, Kerry said, “No. We’re not sitting around contemplating how we’re going to do that or if we’re going to do that. That’s not on the table.”
Kerry said that “nothing is off the table” and “all options” are available for the President to choose at his disposal.
Kerry was asked in a Yahoo News interview this week, “Can you see cooperating with Iran militarily?
The Secretary responded: “I – at this moment, I think we need to go step by step and see what, in fact, might be a reality, but I wouldn’t rule out anything that would be constructive to providing real stability, a respect for the constitution, a respect for the election process, and a respect for the ability of the Iraqi people to form a government that represents all of the interests of Iraq, not one sectarian group over another. It has to be inclusive, and that has been one of the great problems of the last few years.”
The Secretary of State was asked as a follow up: “If Iran recognizes that, would you be willing to work with that country?”
He responded, “Let’s see what Iran might or might not be willing to do before we start making any pronouncements. I think we are open to any constructive process here that could minimize the violence, hold Iraq together, the integrity of the country, and eliminate the presence of outside terrorist forces that are ripping it apart.”
The President met with senior Democratic and Republican congress members Wednesday, reportedly telling them that he did not need their authority to carry out any action he deemed necessary in Iraq.
“What the United States is doing is about Iraq; it’s not about Maliki. Nothing the President decides to do is going to be focused specifically on Prime Minister Maliki. It is focused on the people of Iraq,” Kerry said in the NBC interview.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Obama has also called upon Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to resign.