Reuters: A senior Iranian lawmaker hit out on Tuesday at a proposal by some fellow MPs to set up a “parliamentary friendship group” with the United States, the Islamic Republic’s arch-foe. TEHRAN (Reuters) – A senior Iranian lawmaker hit out on Tuesday at a proposal by some fellow MPs to set up a “parliamentary friendship group” with the United States, the Islamic Republic’s arch-foe.
“Maybe these MPs are not aware of America’s hostile actions towards Iran,” Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who heads the legislature’s foreign affairs and national security commission, was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
He was reacting to reports that about 15 members of parliament had signed in favor of creating such a group of lawmakers from the two countries, which have not had diplomatic ties since shortly after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.
The United States sees Iran as a rogue state which sponsors terrorism and accuses it of seeking atom bombs and fuelling violence in Iraq. Iran denies the charges.
The two countries announced on Sunday that their officials would meet in a rare such encounter in Baghdad in the next few weeks to discuss the situation in Iraq.
Jalal Hosseini, the lawmaker who initiated the “friendship group” proposal and is seeking signatures among colleagues in the 290-seat Iranian parliament, said the aim was to “create good intentions” between Iran and the United States.
Referring to the upcoming talks in the Iraqi capital, Hosseini told the Fars news agency: “If it is supposed that some (Iranian) officials reconcile with the Americans then why can’t the Iranian and American nations reconcile.”
But Boroujerdi said the Baghdad talks would only deal with Iraq, echoing the view of other Iranian leaders that Tehran will only engage in broader talks with Washington if the latter changes its behavior.
Similarly, the United States has said it will not talk with Iran on other issues, such as Tehran’s nuclear program, until Iran suspends uranium enrichment, something Iran has refused to do.