Iran parliament endorses President Rouhani's diplomatic outreach

Reuters , Wednesday 2 Oct 2013

In parliament, 230 out of 290 Iranian lawmakers signed a statement expressing their support of President Hassan Rouhani's regional and international policies

File Photo: Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani waves after swearing in at the parliament, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Iran's parliament strongly endorsed President Hassan Rouhani's diplomatic bid to dispel mistrust at the United Nations last week during a visit which ended with an historic phone call with President Barack Obama, Iranian media said.

The backing from the assembly, controlled by political factions deeply loyal to Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a further sign that Rouhani has the support of the Iranian establishment.

Khamenei, the most powerful figure in Iran, has yet to publicly comment on Rouhani's trip.

In the first joint meeting between president and parliament, Rouhani briefed parliamentarians on his trip, including discussions on Iran's nuclear dispute with the West and regional relations, the student news agency ISNA said late on Tuesday.

Two hundred and thirty parliamentarians, out of the total of 290, signed a statement expressing their support of Rouhani for presenting the image of a "powerful and peace-seeking Iran which seeks talks and interaction for the settlement of regional and international issues", Fars news agency said.

Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani praised Rouhani's address to the U.N. General Assembly, ISNA said. But Larijani, a champion of the conservative establishment, did not mention Rouhani's phone call with Obama.

The head of the powerful Revolutionary Guards said on Monday the call had been premature, a signal of unease and the possible beginning of resistance to the relative moderate Rouhani from Iranian hardliners.

While Rouhani's visit to New York has boosted hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough in talks to resolve the 10-year-old dispute over Iran's nuclear programme, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed it on Tuesday as a ruse concocted by a "wolf in sheep's clothing".

The United States, Israel and other countries accuse Iran of using its nuclear programme as a veil for efforts to try to develop the capability to produce weapons. Iran says the programme is for peaceful energy purposes only.

The next round of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers is set to take place in Geneva in two weeks.

Short link: