Iranian parliament speaker blames MPs for distorting minister’s words
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 21 /Trend N. Umid/
Iranian parliamentary Speaker, Ali Larijani has blamed members of the Iranian parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Commission for unveiling topics of their closed-door meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian Bahar newspaper reported.
Some Iranian media outlets and in particular the radical Keyhan newspaper, claimed that Zarif has confessed that his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as well as President Hassan Rouhani's phone conversation with his counterpart Barack Obama were subject to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's criticism during his meeting with parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Commission.
On October 5, Khamanei said that he supports the developments which occurred during Rouhani's New York visit, adding that "some issues were not very suitable".
Responding to Keyhan`s claims, Zarif wrote on his Facebook page that reading the headline made him ill with back and leg pain requiring he was taken to hospital.
'It is dismaying that an hour and a half of serious, earnest and private discussion with members of parliament which had been agreed would remain confidential and not open for quotation, was summarised in a few sentences that had no relation to what I articulated', Zarif wrote.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry also criticised the media for publishing unreal information regarding the issue announcing that, 'the published information is not in line with FM's statements'.
Despite this, some members of the Iranian parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Commission continued to confirm the Keyhan headline.
Deputy Head of the Foreign Policy and National Security Commission, Mansour Haghighatpour told Bahar that Larijani has supported Zarif and criticised the commission's members during a closed-door meeting.
Larijani also reminded MPs to stop pressurising the Foreign Ministry.
On October 18, the Fars news agency quoted the former Iranian Foreign Minister and current head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, as saying Khamenei is not against direct Iran-US talks.
About 18 months ago, Iran's Foreign Ministry came to a conclusion on direct negotiations with the United States, Salehi said, adding that Khamenei agreed the issue.