Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has been summoned before parliament to explain his recent public stroll with US Secretary of State John Kerry, according to a report by the country’s official IRNA news agency.
On January 14, on the sidelines of ongoing nuclear negotiations, Zarif took a 15-minute walk through the streets of Geneva with Kerry.
Now, according to IRNA, 21 Iranian parliamentarians are demanding that Zarif explain his “diplomatic mistake.” According to local media, the MPs signed a petition to call in the moderate minister for an explanation.
“Given the Great Satan’s endless demands and sabotage during the course of the nuclear negotiations, there is no conceivable ground for intimacy between the foreign ministers of Iran and America,” said the petition published in Fars News.
Zarif is representing Iran in negotiations with the so-called “P5+1” global powers – the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.
Zarif and moderate President Hassan Rouhani have faced intense scepticism from Iranian hard-liners, who believe they are making too many concessions to the West in negotiations to limit the scope of Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the easing of crippling international economic sanctions.
Tehran and Washington broke diplomatic ties after Iran’s 1979 revolution.