Analyst: Next foreign minister must be good negotiator

July 5, 2021 - 21:19

TEHRAN — Speaking to ISNA news agency on Monday, Mehdi Motaharnia, an international affairs analyst, said that the next foreign minister must be a good negotiator and know the principles and techniques of diplomacy to the best of his ability.

“In our country, the president and the minister of foreign affairs are the shapers of the diplomatic apparatus and act as the executors of the policies approved in the executive bodies,” Motaharnia said. 

He added that in Iran, various organizations and institutions are led by the Leader as the commander-in-chief and political leader of the Islamic Republic. He is the final decision maker in various matters and the government is a member of decision-making institutions under the leadership.

The university professor continued, "In fact, the president and the foreign minister are the implementers of diplomacy and foreign policy, and as a result of this role, the foreign minister must be a good negotiator and know the principles and techniques of diplomacy to the best of his ability as well as the management of the diplomatic corps.”

Motaharnia said that in Iran although the foreign minister is a political figure, in practice he is not a decision-maker in the field of foreign policy.

“In many countries, foreign minister acts as an influential figure shaping president’s views on foreign policy. Of course, the character of foreign minister is very important,” he opined. 

The international affairs analyst stated that the minister of foreign affairs is one of the key ministers in the structure of the Islamic Republic, but in the context of power in the Islamic Republic, he is not effective in decision-making. The foreign minister can only implement the decisions taken in the desired direction, he added.

"This is while the minister of foreign affairs is not alone in the ministry and forces from the executive branch are present next to him who monitor the activities of the ministry, and naturally this issue can also affect the diplomatic moves of the minister." 

Therefore, he noted, in the Islamic Republic the minister of foreign affairs, more than being in the foreign policy apparatus, should be a diplomat in the bureaucratic apparatus in the field of foreign policy, with strong characteristics and foundations of negotiation ability, charismatic personality, enhanced capabilities to connect with the international community. 

Asked about possible nominees for the post of foreign minister, the international affairs analyst said, “All of these people, from (Ali) Bagheri to others, are not declared choices, but possible choices about the post of foreign minister in the next government, and these are only speculations.”

Motaharnia added that it is Raisi who should identify many key ministers through consultation with the leadership. "Undoubtedly, given Raisi’s closeness to the Leader, he should be more coordinated with the Leader than other presidents in identifying and selecting ministers."

He underlined that the context of the Iranian society, the situation in the region and the situation of the international system are such that in the next government ministers must be sufficiently influential to help the country get out of the current critical situation and counter possible future problems. 

“Therefore, great care must be taken in the selection of these persons,” he added. 

The university professor emphasized that the situation of Iran's nuclear file, the country's situation in the region and the situation of Iran's economy in the global community are three basic issues that should be given much attention. 

“These three issues are in a meaningful connection with each other, and even today domestic policy issues are a function of foreign policy issues,” he concluded. 


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