Presidential candidate Sa’eed Jalili says opportunities should be seized to establish “constructive and extensive” relations with different world states instead of keeping the country waiting for a removal of the Western sanctions or membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Addressing a presser on Monday (June 7), Jalili said he and his colleagues in the “shadow administration” had drawn up a plan “based on realities and the country’s capacities,” which indicate Iran can “take a leap forward” in the next four years.
“The most significant conclusion that we drew in the area of foreign policy was that we need to have constructive and extensive interactions with the world,” Jalili said. “We believe we should not wait for a few Western states or keep domestic issues waiting for them.”
“In the field of foreign policy, we have good opportunities, which need to be properly identified in order for the country to achieve growth,” he added.
The member of Iran’s Expediency Council unveiled his “shadow administration” initiative following the presidential election in 2017. He defined it as “a voice for the people to make demands from the sitting government in order to achieve a suitable situation.”
Jalili criticized the administration of President Hassan Rouhani for sitting idly by and keeping the country waiting for a series of “delusions,” saying the administration should work to lay the groundwork for economic growth and do not allow political and economic obstacles, or even natural disasters, to delay the country’s progress.
Jalili was also asked to detail his stance on the four FATF bills, two of which remain to be passed in order for the so-called global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog based in Paris to delist Iran.
It will “definitely be wrong” for the country to condition its own economy on rules of a financial organization founded by a few Western states, Jalili said. “We need [instead] to find solutions to establish widespread economic relations with the world countries.”
Reacting to a question about the prospect of Iran’s ties with the United States, Jalili said, “What matters the most is defending the country’s national interests.”
“Negotiation is merely a tool and we view it with positivity. We believe negotiation is a tool to get back the rights of the nation, but it is not the only way, and we should not wait for it,” Jalili said.
Jalili, a former senior diplomat and nuclear negotiator, has been a staunch critic of the nuclear deal Iran signed with six major world states, including the United States, in 2015. The US later withdrew from the deal and targeted the Iranian nation with a host of draconian sanctions, parts of which had been lifted by the deal.
Jalili believes the deal not only failed to ease the country’s economic problems but also brought even more hardships for the people.