In a first such meeting since 1979, British Prime Minister David Cameron sought yesterday Iranian cooperation from President Hassan Rouhani against the Islamic State (ISIS), a Downing Street spokesman said.
The spokesman said that both leaders agreed that “all states in the region must do more to cut off support for all terrorist groups, including financial support” but stopped short of announcing any “firmer cooperation”.
He added: “The [British] prime minister and [Iranian] president noted the threat posed to the whole region by ISIS.”
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly currently taking place in New York.
Rouhani posted two photographs of himself with Cameron and wrote on Twitter: “One hour of constructive and pragmatic dialogue, new outlook.”
He continued: “First meeting between UK and Iran heads of state in 35 years. Cameron is head of the British government. Queen Elizabeth II is head of state.”
Cameron welcomed the Iranian support for the new Iraqi government, but he said that such a step must be taken regarding Syria. Cameron announced that the UK and Iran reached a deal to reinforce mutual relations.
In New York, Cameron cited difference with Iran regarding “Iran’s support for terrorist organisations, Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s treatment with its residents.” But he pointed out that Iran’s leaders are able to offer assistance leading to the fallout of ISIS.
The prime minister noted that he is going to ask the British parliament to approve his government’s demand to join the international airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq. He said this is part of protecting British national interests.