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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs