Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf pictured after being elected as Iran's parliament speaker on May 28
Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf pictured after being elected as Iran's parliament speaker on May 28
Photo: AFP
Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf pictured after being elected as Iran's parliament speaker on May 28

Iran's new parliament speaker says talks with US 'futile'

Newly-elected Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf describes America as the 'axis of global arrogance,' vows revenge for the death of Revolutionary Guards' general Qasem Soleimani

AFP |
Published: 05.31.20 , 23:33
Iran's parliament speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf said any negotiations with the United States would be "futile" as he delivered his first major speech to the conservative-dominated chamber on Sunday.
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  • Ghalibaf, a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards' air force, was elected speaker on Thursday after February elections that swung the balance in the legislature towards ultra-conservatives.
    Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf pictured after being elected as Iran's parliament speaker on May 28 Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf pictured after being elected as Iran's parliament speaker on May 28
    Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf pictured after being elected as Iran's parliament speaker on May 28
    (Photo: AFP)
    The newly formed parliament "considers negotiations with and appeasement of America, as the axis of global arrogance, to be futile and harmful," said Ghalibaf.
    He also vowed revenge for the U.S. drone attack in January that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards' foreign operations arm.
    "Our strategy in confronting terrorist America is to finish the revenge for martyr Soleimani's blood," he told lawmakers in a televised address.
    קאסם סולימאניקאסם סולימאני
    Revolutionary Guards' general Qasem Soleimani
    (Photo: AP)
    This, he said, would entail "the total expulsion of America's terrorist army from the region".
    Decades-old tensions between Tehran and Washington have soared in the past year, with the sworn arch-enemies twice appearing to come to the brink of a direct confrontation.
    The tensions have been rising since 2018 when President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from a landmark nuclear accord and began reimposing crippling sanctions on Iran's economy.
    That was followed by the U.S. drone strike near Baghdad airport in January that killed Soleimani, a hugely popular figure in the Islamic republic.
    המתקן בבושארהמתקן בבושאר
    The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
    (Photo: EPA)
    Days later, Iran fired a barrage of missiles at U.S. troops stationed in Iraq in retaliation, but Trump opted against taking any military action in response.
    Ghalibaf called for ties to be improved with neighbors and with "great powers who were friends with us in hard times and share significant strategic relations", without naming them.
    The 58-year-old Ghalibaf is a three-time presidential candidate who lost out to current incumbent Hassan Rouhani at the last election in 2017.
    The newly-elected speaker had also served as Tehran mayor and the Islamic republic's police chief before taking up his latest post.

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