Diplomacy Should Serve Economy

Ali LarijaniAli Larijani

Iran’s diplomacy should be modified to be the driver of national economic interests, the parliament speaker said.

“Diplomacy should pivot around considerations related to economy and development … Successful countries have pursued economic diplomacy. Today, our diplomacy is not serving our economy,” Ali Larijani also said on Sunday.

“We need to devise a formula in this relation with the help of the Foreign Ministry. The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and Basij voluntary forces can also help,” he was quoted as saying by ICANA.

Larijani was addressing a meeting of the parliament’s Integration Commission, which is considering details of the sixth economic development plan (2016-21), submitted by the government.

“It is among the Majlis’ key responsibilities to flesh out the sixth plan, which sets out the roadmap for the country,” he said.

According to statistics, Iran ranks 172 among 187 countries in terms of investment security and this calls for a major overhaul of domestic economy to help ramp up production, which needs to be envisaged in the major plan. Larijani stressed that the plan should involve measures to help boost production and create a business climate conducive to domestic and foreign investment.

President Hassan Rouhani clinched a nuclear deal with major powers last year in the hope that the removal of sanctions based on the agreement would enable him to jumpstart the sanctions-hit economy by embracing international firms and investors.

But his plans were challenged by his conservative opponents who have resisted opening up to the western players, arguing that it would effectively mean dropping guard against the implacably hostile West.

Larijani, who is leading the parliament for the third consecutive term, has appeared to show more sympathy with Rouhani’s plans since before the latest parliamentary election earlier this year, in a move that signals his distancing from fellow conservatives.

He said the production sector should be given more weight in the national budget than the services sector.

Domestic production and productivity form the cornerstone of Resistance Economy, a national economic plan outlined by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. It constitutes a set of policies aimed at weaning the economy off oil revenues and redirecting economic activities toward production and exports.

“The Majlis’ consideration of the sixth development plan should be based on policies laid out by the Leader,” Larijani said.