British PM Cameron to meet Iran's Rouhani to ask for help against Islamic State

British Prime Minister David Cameron will meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the next two days in New York and ask him for help to fight Islamic State, the first meeting between leaders of the two nations since Tehran`s 1979 Islamic revolution.

Reuters| Last Updated: Sep 23, 2014, 14:52 PM IST

London: British Prime Minister David Cameron will meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the next two days in New York and ask him for help to fight Islamic State, the first meeting between leaders of the two nations since Tehran`s 1979 Islamic revolution.

Cameron will meet Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, a source in the British leader`s office told Reuters, speaking after the United States and Arab partners struck IS targets inside Syria.

Cameron is in New York to try to bolster international action against IS and to clarify his own country`s position when it comes to air strikes, something London has so far held off participating in. 

Cameron is expected to ask Rouhani to drop his support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to tell him that developing nuclear weapons is unacceptable, and to urge him to join the international coalition against IS.

Britain said in June it would reopen its embassy in Tehran after a hiatus of more than two and a half years after relations between the two countries began to thaw after last year`s election of Rouhani, a man London considers a relative moderate.

Islamic State, an extremist Sunni Muslim force, has seized large expanses of territory in Iraq and Syria and proclaimed a caliphate erasing borders in the heart of the Middle East.

Cameron is also expected to hold talks with U.S. President Barack Obama in New York about the possibility of Britain joining air strikes against IS, something he has signalled he would need the approval of the British parliament to do.