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The Jab Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Seemingly Took at Obama: ‘When We Say…’

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"When we say the red line..."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared to take a slight jab at President Barack Obama during an interview Wednesday in which he said Iran will give Iraq any support it requests to fight the Islamic State terror group.

"When we say the red line we mean the red line," Rouhani told NBC News. "It means we will not allow Baghdad to be occupied by the terrorists or the religious sites such as Karbala or Najaf be occupied by the terrorists."

It's likely the Iranian president was referring to Obama's infamous "red line" comment on Syria.

While Rouhani denounced the Islamic State, he also skewered American policy, calling the U.S.-led coalition "ridiculous" and questioning why Obama won't deploy combat troops to combat the militants.

"Are Americans afraid of giving casualties on the ground in Iraq? Are they afraid of their soldiers being killed in the fight they claim is against terrorism?" Rouhani told NBC News.

"If they want to use planes and if they want to use unmanned planes so that nobody is injured from the Americans, is it really possible to fight terrorism without any hardship, without any sacrifice? Is it possible to reach a big goal without that? In all regional and international issues, the victorious one is the one who is ready to do sacrifice," the Iranian president continued.

"Maybe it is necessary for airstrikes in some conditions and some circumstances," he added to NBC News. "However, air strikes should take place with the permission of the people of that country and the government of that country."

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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