Iran’s new parliament speaker Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf has said any negotiations with the United States would be “futile” as he delivered his first major speech to the conservative-dominated chamber on Sunday.
Qalibaf (Ghalibaf), a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ air force, was elected speaker on Thursday after low-turnout elections in February that helped ultra-conservatives dominate the legislature.
The newly formed parliament “considers negotiations with and appeasement of America, as the axis of global arrogance, to be futile and harmful,” said Qalibaf.
He also vowed revenge for the U.S. drone attack in January that killed Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards’ foreign operations arm.
“Our strategy in confronting the terrorist America is to finish the revenge for martyr Soleimani’s blood,” he told lawmakers in a televised address.
This, he said, would entail “the total expulsion of America’s terrorist army from the region”.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington 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.
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