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MPs express mixed views on Pelosi visit to Iran

TEHRAN, April 15 (Mehr News Agency) - Iranian MPs have expressed mixed views on the possibility of a visit to Tehran by Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

Senior U.S. lawmaker Tom Lantos, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee and accompanied Pelosi when she visited Syria, recently said he thought Pelosi might be willing to make a trip to Tehran. "Speaking for myself, I'm ready to go -- and knowing the speaker, I think that she might be," the San Francisco Chronicle quoted him as saying.

On Sunday, MP Soheila Jelodarzadeh said, "Even if Pelosi's statements are only meant to promote the Democrats' political interests, one should make use of this opportunity."

She added, "The legislative bodies of Iran and the United States can play an important part in eliminating misunderstandings" between the two states.

It seems that Pelosi plans to repair the image of the U.S. that President Bush has sullied, the reformist lawmaker told the Mehr News Agency.

"It is said that politics is dirty but women clean it up, and this is why women's participation in politics has been welcomed in different parts of the world," she observed.

MP Bijan Shabaz Khani of the Majlis minority faction expressed doubts about Pelosi's proposed visit to Iran, saying, "I don't think the conditions are ripe for the visit or that the discussions on this issue are genuine."

However, the reformist lawmaker argued that the visit could provide a "good opportunity to break the deadlock" in relations between the two countries.

He said Iranian parliamentarians have the right to deal directly with the legislators of other countries and such negotiations can impede the unilateralist policies of Bush and his cohorts.

By arranging Pelosi's visit to Damascus, the Syrian government cleverly caused a crack in the Bush camp, he stated, adding, "We can make use of this experience."

Conservative MP Ahmad Mahdavi said a Pelosi visit would provide an opportunity to explain Iran's position to members of the U.S. Congress.

"In the current situation, a face-to-face explanation of Iran's position to U.S. representatives would provide a good opportunity to block the unilateralist policies of Bush and the neoconservatives," he told MNA.

"We have no problem with the people of the United States, and since the representatives represent the people of the United States, there is no problem with their visit and presence in Iran.

"At no time has Iran ever closed the door to negotiation," he added.

"We should make use of the slightest opportunity for diplomacy and not allow the other side to isolate Iran politically."

Majlis National Unity and Efficiency faction leader Reza Talaii-Nik called the reports on the Pelosi visit "unrealistic".

"Such discussions are mostly political posturing and are unrealistic," he opined.

He said such an important event would require preparations such as "lobbying and extensive negotiations".

MP Alaeddin Borujerdi has expressed strong opposition to negotiations with U.S. legislators, saying such talks would be meaningless under the current circumstances, in which Iranian diplomats have been kidnapped and tortured by U.S. troops in Iraq.

In light of the U.S. administration's stance toward Iran, there is no common ground for visits or negotiations, the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee chairman said here on Sunday.

MP Mohsen Kohkan said U.S. Democrats can prove their goodwill toward Iran by repealing the D'Amato Act, which bans foreign firms from exporting energy technology to Iran.

... Payvand News - 4/16/07 ... --

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