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.