Iranian MP against set up of US Council in Tehran

Iran Materials 5 October 2008 13:31 (UTC +04:00)

A senior Iranian member of parliament on Sunday harshly opposed the establishment of the American Iranian Council (AIC) in Tehran, ISNA news agency reported according to dpa.

Washington last week granted permission for the New Jersey-based research and policy think tank group to set up an office in Tehran in what is widely believed to be an effort to improve ties after almost three decades of political hostility.

"The government should not issue permission for this office. (AIC head) Houshang Amir-Ahmadi is just a low-ranking dealer of the US and opening the office in Tehran would not be in line with national interests," Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of the parliament's foreign policy commission, told ISNA.

He said any efforts to improve ties should be done at a higher level than the AIC.

Tehran and Washington have had no diplomatic ties since 1980 and several efforts to improve relations have failed, but Iran hopes for changes following the November US presidential elections.