Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rejected a U.S. bid to coordinate efforts to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Just hours after being released from the hospital following prostate surgery, Khamenei sent a series of tweets from his official Twitter account criticizing President Obama's push to a build a coalition to "degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS." Several international leaders have gathered in Paris today to forge an international coalition against the extremists. Neither Iran nor Syria were invited, according to the AP. Khamenei called the strategy "empty, shallow and biased."
The ayatollah has increasingly used his official Twitter account to more or less troll the Obama administration and the U.S. During the racial unrest in Ferguson, Mo., Khamenei repeatedly tweeted out commentary on the events suggesting the U.S. was hypocritical to criticize Iran and other nations for human rights abuses.
He continued with that tone in a final jab at the U.S. on Monday.
The chief spokeswoman for the State Department, Jen Psaki, tweeted responses to Khamenei hours later.
Psaki confirmed that the U.S. had talked to Iran about its efforts to combat ISIS but denied that there was any discussion of coordinating militarily.
It's no secret that we have had discussions w Iran about the counter-ISIL efforts in Iraq on margins of our P5+1 talks on nuclear issue.— Jen Psaki (@statedeptspox) September 15, 2014
We are not and will not coordinate militarily with Iran. We will be continuing talks on the nuclear issue later this week in NY.— Jen Psaki (@statedeptspox) September 15, 2014
There may be another opportunity on the margins in the future to discuss #Iraq w Iran.— Jen Psaki (@statedeptspox) September 15, 2014
Despite the dispute with Iran, international support for Obama's plan grew over the weekend, with multiple unnamed Arab states and Australia pledging to join the military effort.
Diplomats from 30 nations that gathered in Paris issued a statement after their talks pledging to help Iraq fight ISIS "by any means necessary," according to Agence France-Presse. That included "appropriate military assistance, in line with the needs expressed by the Iraqi authorities, in accordance with international law and without jeopardizing civilian security."
The statement, however, did not include any mention of Syria, the ISIS "safe haven" that Obama said he may target as well.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.