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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid