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ISIS Terror: Kerry Says 'Role' For Iran in Battling ISIS Militants

Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Iran has a role to play in an international coalition to fight ISIS — just days after the Iranian president dismissed the U.S.-led coalition against the terror group as "ridiculous." "The coalition required to eliminate ISIL is not only, or even primarily, military in nature," Kerry said at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Iraq, using an alternative name for the radical Sunni militants. "It must be comprehensive and include close collaboration across multiple lines of effort. ... There is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran."

The remarks came after after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in an exclusive interview with NBC News' Ann Curry, lambasted ISIS for its savagery but also appeared to criticize the U.S.-led battle against the militants. "Are Americans afraid of giving casualties on the ground in Iraq? Are they afraid of their soldiers being killed in the fight they claim is against terrorism?" Rouhani said.

The U.S. has previously signaled a reluctance to work with Iran to tackle the global threat of ISIS. America severed diplomatic ties with Tehran amid the tense hostage following the 1979 Islamic revolution. President Barack Obama has said 40 nations have pledged help to a coalition against the ISIS fighters.

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani speaks to NBC's Ann Curry in an exclusive interview 52:36

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— Daniel Arkin