Iran parliament speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf said that any negotiations with the United States would be “futile” as he delivered his first major speech to the conservative-dominated chamber on Sunday.
On Thursday, Ghalibaf, a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ air force, was elected speaker after February elections that swung the balance in the legislature towards ultra-conservatives.
The newly formed parliament “considers negotiations with and appeasement of America, as the axis of global arrogance, to be futile and harmful,” Ghalibaf added.
He also vowed revenge for the US drone attack in January that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards’ foreign operations arm.
In a televised address, “Our strategy in confronting the terrorist America is to finish the revenge for martyr Soleimani’s blood”.
On Saturday, Iran Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the recent US decision to end the sanctions waivers under the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was responding to Iran’s “brinkmanship” of nuclear steps, which have been aimed at pressuring the United States to remove sanctions as called for by the 2015 accord.
Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year when Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal and began reimposing crippling sanctions.
Ghalibaf called for ties to be improved with neighbours and with “great powers who were friends with us in hard times and share significant strategic relations”, without naming them.
The newly elected speaker had also served as Tehran mayor and the Islamic republic’s police chief before taking up his latest post.
In January this year, US government announced that it imposed sanctions on the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and it’s head while renewing waivers allowing foreign companies to continue work at Iranian nuclear sites.
(With inputs from agency)