1249 GMT January 19, 2019
Zarif’s trip to Iraq
Lawmaker Morteza Saffari underlined Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s trip to Iraq, saying such a visit would open up trade opportunities and further cement the bilateral ties.
“Iraq is one of the main investment destinations for Iranian traders,” the lawmaker said, adding that using “economic diplomacy” is of key importance in this regard.
Safari, a member of Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said Zarif’s visit to Iraq comes as Washington is pressing Baghdad to decrease, or even in some cases cut, its ties with the Islamic Republic.
“The Americans have always tried to make Iraqi Kurds pessimistic about Iran. Therefore Iran’s foreign minister’s visit to Erbil and holding talks with regional officials there would foil Washington’s anti-Iran policies,” he added.
Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Zarif arrived in Baghdad on a four-day visit on Sunday.
Poland anti-Iran summit
Lawmaker Kamal Dehqani Firouzabadi slammed the Polish government for jointly hosting a summit with the US that focuses on Iran.
He added that the summit is an attempt by Washington to push for an anti-Iranian bloc after the Washington failed to forge international consensus against the Islamic Republic in the United Nations Security Council.
“When world leaders came together in UN General Assembly (last year), Trump took Iran case to the Security Council to slam Iran, but we witnessed that even US allies, let alone China and Russia, criticized the US approach concerning Iran,” he said.
After failing to achieve its anti-Iran policies through the world body, the US has now gathered some of its own allies “that are among those heavily dependent on the US” to push its anti-Iran agenda.
Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in the Middle East are the ones heavily dependent on US that take part in the event.
And in Europe, Poland, which hates Russia for what happened during Word Wars and is alienated by the big European countries has come to the conclusion that it has to link itself to the US, he added.
Earlier on Friday, Washington announced that the summit would be held in Warsaw from Feb. 13 to Feb. 14, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the meeting would focus on stability and security in the Middle East, including on the “important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.”
Reforms of Parliament elections
On the domestic front, many lawmakers commented on the ongoing discussions concerning a motion, currently under studying by the Iranian Parliament, to “provincialize the election law.”
Lawmaker Ahmad Amirabadi said the motion would decrease the election costs and increase transparency.
Amirabadi, who is a member of Parliament Presiding Board, said even if the motion passes the Parliament, it would be very unlikely for the changes to be enforced for next year elections.
Lawmaker Mohsen Kouhkan described the motion as a great step towards “decentralization”, adding that the move would decrease the red tape in various state bodies.
The motion to provincialize Iran’s elections, if ratified, would set the number of representatives per province equal to the existing collective number of all representatives from that province’s constituency.