Majlis to Help Gov’t Tackle Economic, Regional Issues

Majlis to Help Gov’t Tackle Economic, Regional IssuesMajlis to Help Gov’t Tackle Economic, Regional Issues

The recently reinstated speaker of the parliament said the new legislature is keen to help the government tacklee economic and regional challenges.

“Under the current circumstances, Majlis is eager to stand by the government because Iran is facing considerable challenges, particularly regarding regional and economic issues,” Ali Larijani said in an interview with the Lebanese-based Al-Mayadeen TV on Sunday.

“All Majlis members like to see [the country] overcome these challenges … so the parliament and I are determined to help the government focus on finding solutions to economic problems,” he said.

Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly late last month to reelect Larijani to lead the assembly for a third successive four-year term.

Elaborating on challenges facing Middle Eastern governments, he said, “The situations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan and the activities of terrorist groups have created many crises … That is why Majlis regards [tracking and acting on] regional developments as its top priorities.”

The senior lawmaker said on his watch, the parliament would work in unison with President Hassan Rouhani’s government to effectively demand and ensure the full implementation of last July’s nuclear deal by the western side.

“We insist on cooperation to pressure [the West] to fully honor its commitments,” he said.

The accord, which was clinched with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), has been in effect since mid-January.

It has placed temporary curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program in return for lifting the UN and EU sanctions and ceasing the application of those imposed by the US.

Tehran has complained about the remaining US non-nuclear sanctions that prevent the entry of foreign investment and technology into Iran.

Under vague US regulations, non-US banks are banned from clearing the dollar-denominated transactions involving Iranian companies.

Fears of suffering US retribution by unwittingly breaching the lingering restrictions have caused overseas banks and firms to hold back from doing business with Iranians.

Tehran has asked the United States to do more to relieve such concerns.

Larijani blamed the US for the slow flow of investment into the Iranian economy, saying, “The Americans’ failure to keep their promises under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [formal title of the pact] has barred US banks from entering into transactions with us. They have not fully and accurately carried out their end of the bargain.”

Iran’s diplomatic push led to a joint statement by top diplomats from the United States, Britain, France and Germany last month and a separate one by US Secretary of State John Kerry in April to reassure cautious foreign investors.

“We do not want statements. Mr. Kerry says ‘we have issued statements but it is the banks themselves that are reluctant for dealings (with Iranians)’. Everybody in the world of politics knows that they issue statements but act differently,” Larijani said.