Parliament’s Decisive Vote of Confidence to Zarif

14 August 2013 | 17:49 Code : 1919881 Interview General category
An interview with Dr. Mehdi Sanaei, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament
Parliament’s Decisive Vote of Confidence to Zarif


These days, the Parliament is discussing the issue of the competency of the President’s nominees for the cabinet ministries. How competent, in your opinion, is Mohammad Javad Zarif, the President’s nominee for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?

I believe that Mr. Zarif is one of the best options for this position and one of the strong points of the proposed cabinet. There is consensus among foreign policy experts that Mr. Zarif is capable of holding this post. There is no doubt that Mr. Zarif is one of our well-known diplomats in the international community and one of the most capable diplomats of our country.

Mr. Zarif’s strong point is that his higher education and work experience are all related to international relations. It is a huge asset for a diplomat to have good knowledge in this regard.

Furthermore, Mr. Zarif is transparent and honest. During the past few days, he came to the Parliament and his expertise, knowledge, and experience of foreign policy issues and his honesty and transparency were very significant and appealing for the parliament members.

You mentioned Mr. Zarif’s presence in the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Parliament. How did these sessions help to gain the votes of confidence of the representatives?

Mr. Zarif's presence in the committees and fractions of the Parliament was very helpful and, through his good manners, he was able to interact with the representatives. Although he is an expert in international relations, he has good public relations and was able to establish good relations with the representatives of the Parliament. I believe that his presence in the committees, fractions, and other circles related to the Parliament was very helpful.

How would you assess his proposed program?

His program is very clear and transparent. While remaining committed to the ideals, principles, and the values of the Revolution and the general principles of foreign policy, it represents a clear view of the contemporary situation in the international scene and expresses the upcoming challenges for the Islamic Republic in foreign policy well. His program clearly defines our problems in the area of foreign policy, whether in bilateral relations with other countries of the world, particularly our neighbors, or at the regional and international levels and in the international organizations. Besides, his program presents clear solutions and a clear agenda for the direction of our foreign policy.

In the recent election, the issue of foreign policy was one of the major issues discussed by the candidates and the people. Many believe that people chose Mr. Rohani because of his outlook on foreign policy. How capable, in your opinion, is Mr. Zarif of fulfilling the promises made by the president in the area of foreign policy?

Our problems and challenges in the area of foreign policy are very clear and obvious. Part of these problems is related to our contradiction with the existing international system. It means that our natural and structural differences with the international system have formed part of our foreign policy problems. Thus, the Foreign Minister cannot be expected to solve these issues because they are structural differences.

But another part of these problems is caused by our weak diplomacy. These types of problems can be solved through professional diplomacy and expanded interaction with the countries of the world and a realistic presence in the international community.

Of course, the prerequisite of these challenges is the creation of domestic consensus. Then, a professional and skillful negotiation with the international parties and other countries and a powerful presence in the international community can solve the problems.

The first part, meaning the establishment of consensus, should be achieved through the collective of the government, the political structure, and the president himself. In fact, it is necessary in this area for a consensus to be created between the organizations and institutions which are related to foreign policy so that one voice would be reflected to the world. This is an important point which was mentioned in the President’s speech as well. He pointed out that the area of foreign policy is a very sensitive and delicate field and different people and institutions must be very careful in their statements. Hence, the establishment of this consensus is on the shoulder of the government and the president and negotiation and progress made in the international scene is the job of the Foreign Minister. I believe that Mr. Zarif is a prominent negotiator and a suitable option to achieve our foreign policy objectives. He is one of the directors who has both the commitment and the knowledge to do the job and has presented a well-defined program. We hope that, based on this program, he will invite a suitable and strong team and solve our foreign policy problems, which are some of the biggest problems in our country, and remove the challenges and reduce the sanctions so that our economic problems would be solved as well and people would enjoy its benefits.

How is the general atmosphere of the Parliament? Can Mr. Zarif gain the vote of confidence of the Parliament?

I believe that he will not have any problems in gaining the vote of confidence of the Parliament. I hope that he will achieve a strong vote. Considering the fact that gaining a high number of votes of the Parliament can be a great support for the beginning of his movements in the area of diplomacy in the country and his negotiations with the other countries, I hope that the representatives of the Parliament will give their vote of confidence to him. The general atmosphere of the Parliament shows that he will gain the vote of confidence.

tags: parliament zarif rohani