MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif speaking at the Council for Foreign Relations in New York said that the Islamic State military group is a "dangerous phenomenon" and cannot be defeated by airstrikes only, as US President Barack Obama proposed earlier.
Zarif also expressed his regret that he has not been invited to Paris to take part in international talks to discuss the ways to defeat the Islamic State, and said that Iran could play a crucial role in fighting the terrorists.
Last week, Barack Obama revealed a strategy to defeat the IS. Obama said that Washington will be extending its airstrikes from Iraq to Syria, as well as providing support, equipment and training to Kurdish and Iraqi forces army and Syria's moderate opposition in order to respond to terrorists' threat.
However, he refused to characterize the campaign as a "war" and assured that US troops will not be back to Iraq territory.
Various international experts said that in order to defeat the terrorist army, such as the IS, air strikes and drone strikes will not be sufficient.
IS, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting alongside the other rebel groups against the government forces in the Syrian civil war, before launching an offensive in Iraq in June 2014.
Later in June, the group announced the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories that had fallen under its control, changed its name to the Islamic State and claimed religious authority over all Muslims globally.
According to the US Central Intelligence Agency, over 30,000 militants are currently fighting for the IS. Other sources claim that the real number could be twice as high.