South Asia Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin writes for Al-Monitor on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s comments regarding an air campaign in Syria: 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani put forward his prescription for defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS), saying that local Iraqi and Syrian central government forces must be in the lead and that the United States was creating a new “terrorist group” by training and equipping members of the Free Syrian Army.

Speaking to a large audience of Americans and Iranian Americans in a New York City ballroom on Sept. 24, Rouhani did not reply when asked if he had heard President Barack Obama offer his own ideas for eradicating Islamic extremism in a major speech just hours earlier before the UN General Assembly.

US President Barack Obama spoke of the need for Muslim communities “to explicitly, forcefully and consistently reject the ideology of al-Qaeda and ISIL [another acronym for IS]” by accommodating “devout faith with a modern, multicultural world.” But Obama also said in relation to IS that “the only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.”

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