US Secretary of State says air strikes in Iraq an option, US open to Iran talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference at the end of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London on June 13, 2014. The United States is considering US air strikes to help the Iraqi government fend of
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference at the end of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London on June 13, 2014. The United States is considering US air strikes to help the Iraqi government fend off an Islamist insurgency as well as possible discussions with neighbouring Iran, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States is considering US air strikes to help the Iraqi government fend off an Islamist insurgency as well as possible discussions with neighbouring Iran, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.

Asked about the possibility of such strikes, Kerry said in an interview with Yahoo! News: "They're not the whole answer, but they may well be one of the options that are important." "When you have people murdering, assassinating in these mass massacres, you have to stop that. And you do what you need to do if you need to try to stop it from the air or otherwise," he added.

Kerry also said the United States was "open to discussions"with Iran to help Iraq's Shi'ite-led government combat a Sunni Islamist insurgency. 

However, the United States has no plans to consult Iran on any potential military action in Iraq, the Pentagon said, but left the door open to diplomatic discussions on the crisis in Iraq.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters yesterday that "there is absolutely no intention, no plan to coordinate military activities between the United States and Iran".