Obama: Iran could play constructive role in Iraq

President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq, Thursday, June 19, 2014, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. In the strongest sign yet of U.S. doubts about Iraq's stability, the Obama administration is weighing whether to press the Shiite prime minister in Baghdad to step down in a last-ditch effort to prevent disgruntled Sunnis from igniting a full-scale civil war. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq, Thursday, June 19, 2014, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. In the strongest sign yet of U.S. doubts about Iraq's stability, the Obama administration is weighing whether to press the Shiite prime minister in Baghdad to step down in a last-ditch effort to prevent disgruntled Sunnis from igniting a full-scale civil war. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says Iran can play a constructive role in Iraq if it sends a message that Iraq’s government must be inclusive and respect the interests of Sunnis and Kurds.

He says that’s the same message the United States is sending.

But Obama says if Iran comes into the conflict solely as an armed force backing the Shiite-led government, its involvement would probably worsen the situation.

Obama says Iran’s leaders have a decision to make about what role to play there. He says Tehran should consider whether its view of the region is solely through sectarian frames. He says if that’s the case, Iran could find itself fighting in lots of places in the world.

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