Gov’t, parliament take joint steps in diplomacy

Tehran, Nov 11, IRNA – President Hassan Rouhani’s global outreach has opened up the horizon for further engagement with the world.

Iran’s Member of Parliament, Ali Sobhanifar stipulates in an opinion piece that the parliament can also galvanize the process and help narrow down the gap.

The full text published by the English-language paper Iran Daily follows:

High-ranking officials from Europe, South Korea and South Africa visited Tehran this week to hold talks with Iranian officials. European Parliament Chief, Martin Schulz was in Tehran on Saturday on a one-day visit at the invitation of the Parliament, the first by a head of the European Parliament (EP). South Korean foreign minister and South Africa’s deputy president were among the officials visiting the country.

Over the past two years, the Islamic Republic has received a number of delegations from different countries in line with Tehran’s policy to further bolster its foreign relations but since the landmark nuclear deal reached between Iran and the world six powers in July, more countries have rushed back into Iran to resume political and economic relations.

That representatives from three continents concurrent visit to the country reflects the diversity in diplomacy and purposeful planning in the foreign policy.

Although the eleventh government sparked the diplomatic visits, the Iranian legislature also did not miss this opportunity to further parliamentary cooperation. A number of trips by parliamentary delegations to Iran and Iranian MPs’ tours to parliaments of other countries are a sign of importance of parliamentary diplomacy and its role in expanding collaboration. Unfortunately, due to rhetorical and immature policies of the ninth and tenth governments, the ground was not laid for such constructive international relations, while parliaments can play a positive role in narrowing gaps between states.

President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet have time and again emphasized that protecting national interests will be put into consideration in inking accords with the country’s partners.

Although, there are few people in the country adopting pessimistic approaches to these diplomatic visits, certainly in private, they admit that under the pretext of some concerns, the country would not be walled off from the rest of the world. Any state in international arena has guidelines based on certain strategies in furthering its relations with others. Iran also is not an exception in this regard. With Rouhani’s détente policy, especially the world’s enthusiasm to improve ties with Tehran following the nuclear deal, Iran’s regional and international role was better acknowledged. Now to take more advantage of this created atmosphere is dependent on our diplomats’ skill.

The Iranian parliament and parliamentary diplomacy certainly seeks to build a workable synergy and help the government manage international relations.

Furthermore, the visit by the EP chief is of great importance. Composed of 751 members and representing 28 European states, the parliament is one of the world’s main cultural, economic and political pillars. Schulz traveled to Tehran in a bid to “intensify the dialogue” between the EU and Iran.

Relations between Iran and the European Union are at a “determining stage” after Tehran’s landmark nuclear deal, European Parliament chief Martin Schulz said during his Iran visit.