US Unwilling to Destroy IS

US Unwilling to Destroy ISUS Unwilling to Destroy IS

The foreign minister said the United States is reluctant to see the Islamic State militant group destroyed as this is in conflict with interests of its allies.

"The reason [that the US apparently has not been able to destroy IS] is not that it is incapable of doing it, but it is because Washington faces restraints…. US allies in the region do not want to undermine the Islamic State [in Syria] because it will strengthen [Syria's] central government," Mohammad Javad Zarif said.

"Because of that the US and all of that coalition airpower that exists in Syria cannot go all the way against Daesh [IS]," Zarif said, adding, "For the same reason, they have not been successful in Iraq either."

He was speaking in a meeting on Monday at the University of Denver organized by its International Studies Center. He said the key to the resolution of the 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, unlike many other conflicts that resulted in war or another disaster of the same effect, was a win-win approach adopted by the two sides.

"We exhausted all wrong options except war and then we went for diplomacy," the top diplomat said. "And I think what made this work and I think it would be important for our future world is that we were able at some point in these negotiations to define the problem in a non-zero-sum way."

"That is, we defined our aim so our gain was not necessarily the loss for the [other side]," Zarif said. He said such approach can apply not only to the implementation stage of the nuclear accord, which lifts sanctions in return for temporary constraints on Iran's nuclear program, but to conflicts raging across the region.

"We now need to implement [the pact] based on this approach or paradigm that we can all win together or lose together. There is no middle ground. We cannot win at the expense of the other."

"I think the same applies to [the situation in] Syria, Yemen and Iraq," Zarif added.