U.S. rejects Iran bid to link Islamic State fight to nuclear concessions

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 22, 2014 12:51 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Monday rejected a proposal floated by Iranian officials in which Tehran would cooperate in the fight against Islamic State forces in exchange for flexibility on its nuclear program.

Senior Iranian officials told Reuters that Iran is ready to work with the United States and its allies to stop Islamic State militants but would like more flexibility on Iran's uranium enrichment program in exchange.

Asked to respond, White House spokesman Josh Earnest rejected the Iranian proposal. He said the effort by world powers to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear program is "entirely separate" from President Barack Obama's attempts to build a coalition against Islamic State.

"The United States will not be in the position of trading aspects of Iran's nuclear program to secure commitments to take on ISIL," he said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

(Reporting By Roberta Rampton and Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Trott)