MP: Formation of Iran-US Parliamentary Friendship Group on Agenda

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Formation of a parliamentary friendship group between Tehran and Washington is an item on the agenda of Iran's legislature, a senior Iranian lawmaker said, but noted that the issue requires preparatory work.

MP: Formation of Iran-US Parliamentary Friendship Group on Agenda

“This issue is now raised in Iran, as it had been earlier debated in the US,” Head of Iranian Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moqaddam said of a parliamentary friendship group between the two countries.

Speaking on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, the Iranian lawmaker added, “For our part, we are after forming the friendship group, but this issue requires an appropriate psychological atmosphere.”

The thaw in the frozen relations between the two countries, which have had no diplomatic relations since 1980, began just after Iran's President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in early August.

The sense of rapprochement was capped by a 15-minute telephone conversation between Iranian and American presidents in late September.

Rouhani, who had traveled to New York to attend the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, had a telephone conversation with his American counterpart Barack Obama on September 27 just on his way to leave New York City for Tehran.

Ahead of this telephone call, which was the first between the heads of government of the two countries in more than three decades, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his counterparts from the G5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) held an meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, hosted by the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The meeting, attended by seven foreign ministers, marked the highest-level, direct contact between the US and Iran in many years as the US secretary of state, John Kerry, came face-to-face with the Iranian foreign minister.

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