Foreign Minister-Designate Hossein Amir-Abdollahian explains his programs to Iranian lawmakers. (Icana)

August 23, 2021

For the second consecutive day, cabinet picks of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took turns presenting their agendas to Iranian lawmakers, despite many predicting the new president’s government gaining parliament’s confidence in the upcoming Tuesday vote.

The foreign minister-designate, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, offered parliamentarians his strategy for running the country’s diplomacy and his vision for succeeding Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s current top diplomat.

Amir-Abdollahian said that he would adopt foreign policies that are equally based on diplomacy and field developments.

The veteran politician made a few implicit criticisms of Zarif’s policies by confirming that having force on the ground strongly supported Iranian diplomacy.

Last April, a voice recording in which Zarif slams the clash between the country’s diplomatic work and the Revolutionary Guards’ regional activities was leaked.

On the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Amir-Abdollahian used rhetoric adopted by hardliners who oppose the agreement.

“Our foreign ministry will not be the ministry of the nuclear agreement,” he said, explaining that his diplomatic leadership won’t allow pawning the ministry to the nuclear deal.

“We are making every effort to abort the sanctions, but we will engage in negotiations that will not be draining, but rather ensure our rights and interests,” he affirmed.

Amir-Abdollahian noted that negotiation is a tool of diplomacy but said it could not prevail in light of threats and procrastination. He refused the notion of “negotiating for the sake of negotiation.”

He also noted that he would not waste time in “erosive negotiations” or negotiations that fail to serve the Iranian people’s interests.

Born in 1964, Amir-Abdollahian is a veteran diplomat who served as the deputy foreign minister for Arab and African Affairs. He also headed Iran’s negotiation delegation at an Iran-Iraq-US trilateral meeting in Baghdad in 2007.

“We will endeavor to have a balanced, energetic and intelligent foreign policy,” he told lawmakers.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.