US, Iran deny cooperating in Iraq

The Obama administration and Iran on Tuesday denied reports that they're working together to fight al Qaeda in Iraq.

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State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that the U.S. is not coordinating with Iran after the country offered to send “military equipment and advisers” should Baghdad ask for them.

The U.S. and Iran are facing a common enemy in Iraq, but the administration is worried that more Iranian support for Iraq's Shiite-led government could further antagonize the majority Sunni population and encourage support for terrorism.

“Let me be very clear here: We're not working with, we are not coordinating with Iran on any of these efforts,” Psaki told reporters. “We have long rejected violent extremism and advocated a stable security environment and inclusive political process and a determined focus on economic development for Iraq to achieve its full potential. Our goals have not changed. I don't think we view them as the same goals that Iran may have.”

The remarks come just hours after Iran similarly shot down any notion that it's working with the U.S. in combating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria and Iraq.

“The reports about cooperation between Iran and the U.S. in Iraq against the terrorist groups are not true,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told reporters in her weekly press conference, according to the FARS News Agency.

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