Barack Obama

Iran can have a “constructive role” in Iraq by sending the message that the Iraqi government should be inclusive and respectful the rights of its Sunni and Kurdish people, the U.S. president said on Thursday June 19.

Barack Obama told reporters in Washington that Iran can have a positive role if it follows suit with the U.S. by promoting unity in Iraq.

He stressed that if Iran chooses to side with sectarian differences, it would only deepen the crisis in neighbouring Iraq.

There has been some talk of collaboration between Iran and the U.S. to quell the growing crisis in Iraq; however, yesterday U.S. State Secretary John Kerry said that such a collaboration was not happening.

The U.S. president said he is prepared to send 300 military advisers to Iraq for training and support, stressing that this does not mean that American troops will return to combat in Iraq.

The U.S. has already announced that it has sent about 300 soldiers to protect its embassies in Iraq and neighbouring countries.

The Iraqi government has called on the U.S. to begin military action against the Sunni extremists in Iraq.