Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryBiden lines up high-profile surrogates to campaign in Iowa The Iowa Democratic caucuses, mapped Hill.TV's Krystal Ball: Biden campaign has 'big' Hillary Clinton energy MORE said that the United States welcomes potential action on the part of Iran to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) while the Obama administration maintains it is not coordinating militarily with the nation.

In remarks to the United Nations Security Council in New York on Friday, Kerry called for a "holistic, global campaign" to defeat ISIS, noting, "the coalition required to eliminate ISIL is not only, nor even primarily, military in nature," he said using an alternate acronym for the group.


"The fact is there is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran," Kerry said.

The Obama administration has been dogged by suggestions it would coordinate militarily with Iran to defeat ISIS, a mutual enemy, amid fears Iran would leverage their help defeating ISIS in talks over its nuclear program.

Iranian officials earlier this week said they had declined multiple requests the U.S. made in private for cooperation against ISIS, which the U.S. did not deny.

"We are not and will not coordinate militarily with Iran," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said earlier this week, noting the two countries have had discussions on the margins of P5+1 nuclear talks regarding "counter-ISIL efforts in Iraq."

In an exchange with Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: UK allows Huawei to build 5G in blow to Trump | Lawmakers warn decision threatens intel sharing | Work on privacy bill inches forward | Facebook restricts travel to China amid virus Lawmakers warn US, UK intel sharing at risk after Huawei decision GOP lawmaker: UK-Huawei deal could force US to 'reexamine' intelligence-sharing partnership MORE (R-Fla.) while testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, Kerry pushed back on suggestions the two nations are coordinating to defeat ISIS in Syria.

"I'm not going to get into hypotheticals but you're presuming that Iran and Syria don't have any capacity to take on ISIL. I mean, who knows? I don't know what's going to happen here," Kerry said. 

"If we're failing and failing miserably who knows what choice they [Iran] might make," he said, adding, "I don't believe we're going to fail."

Kerry repeated those sentiments Thursday, telling the House Foreign Relations Committee, "We are not cooperating [with Iran], there is no joint effort."

In an interview with Al Arabiya News on Friday before chairing the UN hearing, Kerry expressed openness to potential Iranian action to defeat ISIS.

"We welcome whatever Iran chooses to do or thinks it can do to deal with ISIS," Kerry said. 

"We're not in a position, right now, to coordinate in some way that we know of, but we're open to communication, we're open to understanding how they feel they could be constructive," he said.