Iran accuses U.S. of violating sovereignty in anti-ISIS fight

Iraq accused the United States of not taking the ISIS threat seriously

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The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council accused the United States on Saturday of violating the sovereignty of nations on the "pretext of fighting terrorism" in Iraq and Syria.

"On the pretext of fighting terrorism, the United States want to pursue their unilateral policies and violate the sovereignty of states," Ali Shamkhani said, quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

He said Washington was "trying to divert the eyes of the world from its pivotal role in supporting and equipping the terrorists in Syria in a bid to topple the legitimate regime."

Shamkhani was the latest Iranian official to criticize an international coalition the United States is building against the jihadist Islamic State group, which has captured large parts of Iraq and Syria.

On Thursday, foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afhkham cast doubt on the "sincerity" of the coalition.

Last week, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States of not taking the threat from ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria seriously.

He also charged that US aid had previously helped the jihadists, alluding to support given by Washington to other rebel groups in Syria, some of which has found its way into the hands of ISIS.

Iran has been Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main ally since the revolt against his rule erupted in March 2011 and has also provided military advisers to the Shiite-led government in Iraq to help it battle the jihadists.

Shamkhani's comments come as France prepares to host a conference on Iraq in Paris on Monday to which Iran has not been invited.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday his country is opposed to Iran's participation because of its "engagement in Syria and elsewhere".

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