The United States has asked the countries neighbouring Iraq, particularly Iran, to encourage an inclusive government in Baghdad for stability and peace in the region following a Sunni militant onslaught.
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said: “What we would say to all the neighbours is that if you have an interest in reducing tensions inside of Iraq, that you should be encouraging inclusive governance.” Iran, he argued, could play a role in using their influence to encourage an inclusive process of government formation.
“Because it is not in Iran’s interests for there to be this type of vacuum in the Sunni areas that ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) has taken advantage of, that Iran should not be feeding sectarian politics inside of Iraq. “Because frankly, that is only, again, going to bring greater instability which, ultimately, is not in any of the neighbours’ interests,” he said.
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“So our message to Iran is the same message that we would send all the neighbours, which is let’s support an inclusive politics inside of Iraq.” Rhodes said the United States welcome the announcement of USD500 million humanitarian aid for Iraq by Saudi Arabia.
“We welcome the fact that the Saudis stepped up, and through their provision of assistance, I think, are sending a signal that now is the time for countries to look at this with a sense of urgency and try to invest in a different type of process going forward,” he said.
He said US President Barack Obama has been very clear that a US military solution can be imposed on the current dynamics in Iraq. “Ultimately, these are challenges that the Iraqis need to settle themselves, and that starts with forming an inclusive government, and then that includes committing to inclusive security forces that all of Iraq’s communities can have confidence in,” he said.
But the US has a role to play in a number of different ways, the White House official said adding that the US will provide training and assistance and equipment to Iraqi forces. “The up to 300 advisor’s that President Obama announced, they are looking at ways in which we can better provide support to the Iraqi Government in their fight against ISIL,” Rhodes said.
“In terms of additional US military action, President Obama again made clear that while he has not ordered any military action, he reserves the right to do so as necessary.” Rhodes said the security and safety of US personnel deployed for the security of the American Embassy in Baghdad and other military personnel in Iraq would be of profound interest to the United States.