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“There is absolutely no intention and no plan to coordinate military activities between the United States and Iran.” Iranian officials voiced similar sentiments.“If the issue is about confronting extremism and violence, then yes, we’re on the same side, but if it’s about destabilizing the region, then, no we are not,” said Hesameddin Ashna, an adviser to Rouhani and head of the Center for Strategic Studies, a government-run think tank.Since 2003, many have renewed ties with their homeland and have commercial and religious interests at stake if the country falls to ISIS forces.

As in Washington, some influential voices here opposed even a short-term alliance between Iran and the United States.

Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of the ultra-conservative Kayhan newspaper and a vehement opponent of rapprochement with the United States, said it was “unrealistic” to think that the two states could successfully work together and accused the United States of having funded ISIS rebels in Syria.

Kerry suggested Monday that Washington has not ruled out such cooperation.

That convergence is uncomfortable for both nations, coming after years of U. allegations that Iran furnished explosives and know-how to insurgents fighting U. The Obama administration has not decided whether to launch airstrikes against the Sunni Arab militia that has laid claim to a string of cities in Iraq’s north and west. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said any discussion or cooperation with Iran would be similar to the practical cooperation the two countries applied to Afghanistan a decade ago.

Iran and the United States are starting to signal a cautious willingness to work together, reflecting their shared interest in protecting the fragile Iraqi government against al-Qaeda-inspired fighters and, more broadly, in preserving regional stability. Kerry’s comment echoed remarks Saturday by Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, who said Iran would consider working with its longtime enemy if the United States became involved in the fight. The United States and Iran find themselves on the same side of the current battle in Iraq, both seeking to prevent the collapse of the Baghdad government or descent into all-out civil war. It also contrasts with the situation in Iran’s neighbor Syria, where the United States is supporting rebels seeking the ouster of the Iranian-backed government. officials stressed that neither Washington nor Tehran is considering a military alliance, something that would be awkward or impossible given the history of enmity.

“I think we are open to any constructive process here that could minimize the violence, hold Iraq together — the integrity of the country — and eliminate the presence of outside terrorist forces that are ripping it apart,” he said. diplomats discussed the possibility of cooperation during meetings in Vienna on Monday about limits to Iran’s nuclear program, a State Department official said.These nations exhibit a chronic inability to engage constructively with the outside world, and they do not function effectively in alliances, even with those like-minded.They are often on the defensive, increasingly criticized and targeted with sanctions in international forums. Accordingly, they are embarked on ambitious and costly military programs, especially in weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missile delivery systems, in a misguided quest for a great equalizer to protect their regimes or advance their purposes abroad.Several of Rouhani’s ministers and advisers said Monday they would prefer to see Maliki’s government deal with the onslaught from the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) by itself.“We do not feel any need to cooperate with the United States over developments in Iraq," Hossein Amir-Abdolahian, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African Affairs said Monday, according to the semiofficial Mehr News Agency.The United States presents itself as, and is seen to be, a great military power. Consider that the Iranian navy still regards its 1988 confrontation with the United States -- sparked by the mining of a U. warship -- as a great victory that it studies closely, despite the sinking of several Iranian vessels. Iran has invested heavily to create a multilayered system for sinking ships: mines, missiles from fast craft, missiles from bunkers hidden in the hills along the strait, and submarines. For instance, attacks on Iran's oil infrastructure might drive prices up and invite Iranian retaliation against critical infrastructure in frightened Gulf monarchies -- a scenario that lends heightened importance to those countries' recent efforts to step up infrastructure protection. The 1979 revolution, for example, cut Iran's oil exports in half but doubled world prices.