Without naming them, Iran's Foreign Minister accuses U.S. allies in the Mideast of providing support to Islamic State and calls the recent IS Paris conference a ''coalition of repenters''. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is accusing U.S. allies in the Middle East of providing support to Islamic State and called for that assistance to stop immediately. Zarif was speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York on Wednesday (September 17). A large part of the moderated discussion that Zarif took part in was devoted to Islamic State as well as Iran's ongoing negotiations over its nuclear program. Zarif complained about the refusal of the United States and other world powers to invite Iran to an international conference in Paris this week on the Iraq crisis. He said the coalition Washington was building against Islamic State was a "coalition of repenters," because most of those that attended had originally supported it. Zarif added that later the group "came to haunt its creators." The Paris conference was attended by the five U.N. Security Council permanent members, European and Arab states, and representatives of the EU, Arab League and United Nations. All pledged to help the government in Baghdad fight against Islamic State militants. Zarif however did not name the U.S. allies that he said had provided support to Islamic State. "This group (Islamic State) has been in existence for a long time. It has been supported, it has been provided for in terms of arms, money, finances by a good number of U.S. allies in the region and now the United States after about two months following the beginning of its new onslaughts in Iraq, just came to start to address it. Had it not been for Iran going to the aid of the Iraqis, not with boots on the ground, I do not believe that Iraqis need boots on the ground. Iraqis need a concerted effort to stop supporting this group. I hope that the coalition that was built in Paris would simply do all it takes to stop providing support because a good number of them were very much involved in providing financial assistance, arms and military assistance to these people. A lot of them or at least some of them provided safe transit to ISIS members," Zarif said. Iran has denounced Islamic State's beheading of innocent people, saying the militant group's shameful actions violate Islamic principles. The United States has been trying to build an international coalition to fight the militant group, but Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, this week said he had rejected Washington's offer for talks on the issue. U.S. President Barack Obama said so far that 40 nations have pledged to help.