Zarif warned over Rouhani’s pro-talk remarks: MP

September 7, 2019

TEHRAN – The Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has firmly warned Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif over President Hassan Rouhani’s conciliatory approach toward the U.S., the committee chairman has said.

“In the committee’s meeting with the foreign minister, we issued a firm warning over Rouhani’s remarks and also serious objections to the president’s stances were raised,” Mojtaba Zonnour was quoted as saying by Mehr on Saturday.

On August 26, Rouhani expressed readiness to negotiate with “anyone” if that would help resolve Iran’s problems.

“If I knew that going to a meeting and visiting a person would help my country’s development and resolve the problems of the people, I would not miss it,” he said. “Even if the odds of success are not 90% but are 20% or 10%, we must move ahead with it. We should not miss opportunities.”

A day later, however, Rouhani ruled out the possibility of talks with Washington, saying the United States must lift all its cruel sanctions against Iran and begin respecting the nation’s rights as a “first step” towards dialogue.

“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.

Zonnour said Rouhani’s remarks would only lead to economic instability and unsteadiness. “Mr. Rouhani made a grave mistake.”

“The establishment’s policy is that there’s no possibility of dialogue with the U.S. at any level,” he said. “When the president speaks like that, it will have echoes at international level, while Mr. Rouhani is not the decision-maker in this regard.”

The issue of holding “talks with the U.S. is related the establishment’s macro-policies and Mr. Rouhani is in no position to recognize whether this should happen or not,” the top MP added.

The U.S., under Donald Trump, has occasionally shown its willingness to hold talks with Tehran, while abandoning the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and reimposing sanctions that the agreement had rescinded.

The idea of talks with Trump’s America has been firmly rejected by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in critical issues.

Back in June, Ayatollah Khamenei categorically rejected the possibility of talks between Iran and the U.S., saying the U.S. president is not worthy of having a dialogue with.

MH/PA

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