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Cameron seeks Iran's help against IS

By Agencies in London and Washington | China Daily | Updated: 2014-09-24 07:11

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will meet within the next two days in New York, where Cameron is expected to ask for help in the fight against Islamic State.

It will be the first meeting between leaders of the two nations since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. The two will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, a source in the British leader's office told Reuters.

Cameron is in New York to try to bolster international support for striking IS and to clarify his own country's position when it comes to airstrikes, which London has so far avoided.

Cameron is expected to ask Rouhani to drop his support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and to urge Iran to join the international coalition against IS. He will also reiterate the West's position that developing nuclear weapons is unacceptable.

Britain said in June that it would reopen its embassy in Teheran after a hiatus of more than two and a half years after relations between the two countries began to thaw after last year's election of Rouhani.

No relaxed stance

However, the United States said on Monday it would not buy Iran's cooperation in the fight against IS by relaxing its negotiating posture on Teheran's nuclear program.

Senior Iranian officials told Reuters that Iran is ready to work with the United States and its allies to stop IS militants, but it would like more flexibility on Iran's uranium enrichment program in exchange.

Asked to respond, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the idea was unacceptable, remarks that echoed those of other Western powers in the negotiations with Teheran.

Earnest said the effort by world powers, including the US, to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear program is "entirely separate" from President Barack Obama's attempts to build a coalition against Islamic State.

He also said the US would not coordinate the coalition's military activities with the Iranians and would not share intelligence on Islamic State with Iran.



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