1217 GMT August 12, 2020
The Iranian Foreign Ministry must put high on its political agenda bolstering economic diplomacy, primarily, with neighbors, said an MP.
Exporting agricultural products to neighboring and regional states would fetch the country more revenues as compared to oil sales, Rajab Rahmani, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on Planning, Budget and Calculations, told Iran Daily in an exclusive interview.
He added that since the early days after the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic has based its policies on promoting interaction, collaboration and peace in its relations with other countries and has always been particularly interested in developing brotherly ties with its neighbors.
Rahmani called on the Foreign Ministry to be more active in the field of pursuing economic diplomacy with neighbors, especially under the present circumstances in which the country is under US sanctions, as Iran has favorable potential and capacities for expanding economic and trade relations with these states.
“The countries of the region have witnessed that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a regional power, has always taken steps toward safeguarding the interests of its neighbors and has never adopted policies of bullying and aggression in its relations with them.”
He said the existence of unresolved problems in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is due to the Riyadh government’s dependence on global arrogance, the US, noting that, otherwise, the two countries have cultural and religious commonalities.
Underlining the need for a stronger interaction between the Parliament and the executive branch of government to overcome the country’s economic problems, the lawmaker gave assurance that the legislative branch is determined to support the Iranian administration in the final year of its term.”
This is aimed at stimulating the government and its economic teams, he added.
Rahmani said the government is expected to move alongside the Parliament, control the market, and resolve the economic problems through significant, extensive and revolutionary activities.
He noted that as part of its efforts to solve the country’s economic problems, the administration can seek Parliament’s support by drafting and submitting double-urgency bills whenever it felt the need for amending the laws or passing new ones.
Warning the administration and Parliament against focusing on marginal issues, the MP called on the Iranian administration to prioritize meeting people’s basic needs, solving problems pertaining to inflated prices in the domestic market and low employment, and protecting people’s health.
“The administration and Parliament should believe that we can overcome the existing problems, as we have seen tougher days before and managed to emerge victorious.”
Shifting to US bids to intensify its economic pressures on Iran, he said, undoubtedly, any problem surfacing in the country, such as those existing in the domestic gold and foreign currency markets can be traced back to the conspiracies and plots by the enemies and Washington’s sanctions on Tehran.
The MP, however, warned against blaming sanctions for all the problems of the country.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran. Mainly targeting Iran’s foreign trade, such as oil exports, and the banking sector, the sanctions led to an increasing trend in foreign currency rates against that of the rial and the price of gold in the Iranian market.
Rahmani added that a study by the Parliament’s Research Center showed that only 30 percent of the country’s economic problems stem from the sanctions while the rest result from management issues.