- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Tuesday that working with Iran should not be part of the Obama administration’s response to the al Qaeda inspired fighters that are threatening the stability of Iraq and the Middle East.

Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, said on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” that the United States must weigh what is in its national interest before deciding how to counter the militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

“We have to both think about whether or nor there is targeted and limited in duration strikes that may be able to change the tide and also I hope the administration is not thinking about engaging Iran,” Mr. Menendez said, adding that Iran has trained militias that have wounded American soldiers.

The remarks came a day after Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Obama administration was open to considering military cooperation with Iran.

Asked in an interview with Yahoo News whether the White House could work with Iran, Mr. Kerry said, “I wouldn’t rule out anything that would be constructive to providing real stability, a respect for the Constitution, a respect for the election process and a respect for the ability of the Iraqi people to form a government that represents all the interests of Iraq.”

ISIS is an al Qaeda offshoot and compromised of Sunni extremists. Iran is a majority Shiite.

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