Deputy FM Misquoted on Iraq Airstrikes

Deputy FM Misquoted on Iraq Airstrikes
Deputy FM Misquoted on Iraq Airstrikes

An informed source at the foreign ministry denied a report by the Guardian claiming that Iran confirmed conducting airstrikes against targets of the self-declared Islamic State (IS) in eastern Iraq.

The unnamed source told IRNA on Sunday that the British paper misinterpreted and misquoted the remarks by Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour that he had made in an interview in London, which was published on Saturday. The source added that Mr. Rahimpour did not say anything about Iran’s involvement in any airstrikes in Iraq, but he reiterated “Tehran’s readiness to cooperate with the Iraqi government to combat Islamic State (IS) militants.”

The comments came amid claims by US military officials that American-made F4 Phantom jets of the Iranian air force had recently targeted IS positions in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala.

Iraq’s media reported on Sunday that the Arab country’s air force denied that Iranian fighter jets had flown over Iraqi airspace and targeted IS positions. In his interview with the Guardian, Rahimpour said, “Every military operation to help the Iraqi government is according to their requests” and that Iran does not have any coordination with the Americans.

“We are taking our security actions at the request of the Iraqi government. On the other hand, we are assisting the Kurds in the north...,” he said. Iran has repeatedly announced that it will not join the US-led coalition against IS, since the US and its allies are adopting double standards when it comes to the issue of terrorism.

Tehran has provided Baghdad and Damascus with assistance in the forms of military advice and training to help them deal with terrorist groups.