Lawmakers pushing to ban dialogue with U.S.: MP

August 27, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian lawmakers are signing a statement that denounces and bans any kind of talks with the United States, according to MP Ahmad Alirezabeigi.

Alirezabeigi said on Tuesday that the statement is a reaction to remarks by President Hassan Rouhani regarding negotiations, Mehr reported.

According to the statement, the MP said, holding talks with the U.S., under the current circumstances and given the U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal, would be detrimental to the interests of the Iranian nation and thus is condemned and prohibited.

Tensions started to build up between the U.S. and Iran after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018, and imposed sanctions against Tehran in a bid to put maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic. 

The Trump administration has also made empty calls for talks, but the Islamic Republic maintains that as long as the sanctions are in place and the U.S. refuses to return to the JCPOA, negotiations will be meaningless.

Addressing Tuesday’s session of the parliament, MP Mostafa Kavakebian reiterated that no talks will take place as long as the U.S. refuses to return to the JCPOA and “our money transfer has not been facilitated.”

“Some of our colleagues in the parliament are behaving as if President Rouhani is going to hold talks with Trump today,” Kavakebian said, according to Mehr. “This is not true. Our condition is that no talks will take place as long as the Americans have not returned to the JCPOA.”

“Also those mediators who sometimes deliver messages – they have been told that first the sanctions must be lifted, our money transfer facilitated, and the rest of our conditions met. There is nothing wrong with negotiations if it’s done from the position of power, wisdom and national interest.”

President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that the United States should lift all its cruel sanctions against Iran and begin respecting the nation’s rights as a “first step” towards dialogue.

He stressed that the Islamic Republic will not engage in any negotiations for the mere sake of photo ops.

“We seek to resolve issues and problems in a rational way but we are not after photo ops. For anyone wanting to take a picture with Hassan Rouhani, this is not possible” unless that party chooses to set aside all the oppressive sanctions and respect the Iranian nation’s rights, the president said.

Rouhani made the remarks a day after French President Emmanuel Macron expressed hopes for a meeting between the Iranian president and his American counterpart Donald Trump in the next few weeks.

MH/

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