News / Middle East

Iranian Parliament Endorses Rouhani's Diplomatic Outreach

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a address and discussion hosted by the Asia Society and the Council on Foreign Relations at the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, in New York, US Testing Iran Analysis, Sept. 26, 2013.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a address and discussion hosted by the Asia Society and the Council on Foreign Relations at the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, in New York, US Testing Iran Analysis, Sept. 26, 2013.
Reuters
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, though there are some rumblings from hardliners.
 
Khamenei, the most powerful figure in Iran, has yet to publicly comment on Rouhani's trip.
 
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.
 
A group of 230 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.
 
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 program, 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 program as a veil for efforts to try to develop the capability to produce weapons. Iran says the program is for peaceful energy purposes only.
 
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Netanyahu and “the Zionist lobby” were trying to hinder negotiations.
 
“We will not let Netanyahu determine the future of our talks,” Zarif wrote on his Facebook page.
 
The next round of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers is set to take place in Geneva in two weeks.
 
Rouhani told the U.N. General Assembly last week that Iran was willing to engage immediately in “time-bound” talks on the nuclear issue.
 
Hardline rumblings
 
Inside Iran, even as conservatives fall in line behind Rouhani who secured a landslide election win in June with promises of moderation in foreign policy, there were signs that some feared the president was going too fast, too soon.
 
Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani praised Rouhani's address to the U.N. General Assembly, ISNA said. But Larijani, a champion of the conservative establishment, made no specific mention of 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.
 
The Guards chief and other hardliners have argued the United States must now take concrete steps such as easing the stringent sanctions that have driven inflation above 40 percent and led to a sharp fall in the value of the Iranian rial.
 
“Either America takes a big step by breaking up sanctions, and that is the result of the success of the heroic flexibility of the supreme leader, or it continues with its unreasonable and illogical claims which will make apparent American lies,” Fars quoted hardline member of parliament Alireza Zakani as saying.
 
Others have presented Obama's statement that the United States was not seeking 'regime change' in Iran as a sign of the strength of the Islamic Republic.
 
“They have understood this truth that the Islamic Republic is unbreakable and it is better to accept interaction based on appropriate and just rules, instead of confrontation,”

You May Like

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs