The British prime minister says he will ask Parliament to approve joining international airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq.

David Cameron announced the move Wednesday night in his address to the U.N. General Assembly.

Cameron did not mention the prospect of also joining the U.S.-led international airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria that began this week.

The threat of the terror group's grip on large parts of both Iraq and Syria has dominated this week's annual gathering of world leaders.

Cameron says, "We have a need to act in our own national interest to protect our people."

He also says Iran could help in defeating the Islamic State threat. Cameron met with Iran's president Wednesday, the first such meeting since the Iranian revolution in 1979.