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Zarif: High Voter Turnout Big Contributor to Iran’s Anti-US Diplomacy

Zarif: High Voter Turnout Big Contributor to Iran’s Anti-US Diplomacy
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By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for a high turnout in Friday’s parliamentary elections, saying massive participation will strengthen the country’s diplomacy against US policies.

“If we want to strengthen the hand of my team in foreign policy [arena] so that they can more seriously counter the sanctions… we have to compel the US to come back to the negotiating table, not bilateral talks but the negotiations that the US has left and that is the P5+1 talks,” Zarif told reporters on Wednesday on the sidelines of a cabinet session.

“As the Leader said for the US to wake up to its defeat and come back to the negotiating table, lift sanctions and make up for the losses incurred on the Iranian nation, it needs to know and see that the sanctions have been ineffective and people participate in the elections fervently. This is the biggest boost to the Islamic Republic’s diplomacy to counter the US’ policies,” Zarif added.

He said it is time that the US understood its “maximum pressure policy” had failed.   

Zarif, relatively, said the Iranians showed through their massive participation for the funeral processions of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, that they do not accept the US’ policies and would defend their country against Washington.

“The best manifestation for this support is participation in the election,” he added.

Iran is to hold the parliamentary elections on February 21 for the 11th Majlis [Parliament] since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

More than 7,000 candidates are to vie in the polls for 290 seats, five of them representing religious minorities.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani also said an inclusive and enthusiastic popular turnout in this Friday's parliamentary elections will enrage the United States, stressing the significant role of the legislative chamber in moving forward government efforts to thwart Washington’s sanctions.

Iran can triumph over the US pressure campaign through perseverance and strength, Rouhani told the Wednesday cabinet session.