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Lord Lamont: I believe Rouhani is sincere

February 5th, 2014
09:27 AM ET

It seems Iran is quite the place to be right now judging by the procession of western diplomats and business leaders making their way to Tehran.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt is there meeting with his counterpart Javad Zarif, discussing Iran’s nuclear programme. And more than 100 French business executives are also having meetings inside the country this week, with other European countries planning similar trips.

In the United States though, Congress continues to battle over new sanctions for Iran; and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has even joined the fray, arguing against that move.

Lord Lamont, the Chairman of the British-Iranian Chamber of Commerce, has recently returned from Tehran as well. He was part of a UK parliamentary delegation that came back with strong recommendations for engagement with Iran. The former British finance minister told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that members of the government he met with were “positive” about dealing with the west and felt it was “in the interest of both parties”. But despite there being “a lot of goodwill” from the Iranian side, he says they felt negotiations could be “very difficult", that there is "quite a wide gap between the two sides”.

Asked whether President Hassan Rouhani is a man Britain “can do business with”, Lord Lamont told Amanpour he believes Rouhani is “sincere” and that he does want to make changes in Iran, but that he will not be able to make all the changes he wants unless he gets a nuclear deal.

That said, Lord Lamont says everyone he met in Tehran emphasised that any deal has to be approved “not just by the government, not just by ministers, but by other ‘centers of power’”.

Click above to watch the interview.


Filed under:  Iran • Latest Episode
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Mike

    The Mullah regime think that 5 + 1 have been agreed to continue its bomb project and trying to invite the European bankrupt companies to the Iran to remove sanctions asap!.
    Zarif in an interview in Tehran today: We did not give up our plans and USA must understand it!!

    February 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Reply
    • zcyrus

      What 5 + 1 got?
      Just put few Centrifuges locked?

      February 5, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  2. Mike

    Iran regime have been invented by BBC to kick out Shah and get cheap oil.
    BBC announced the picture of Khomeini is in the Moon and religious Iranian claimed that he came from God!
    Air France flight took Khomeini from Paris to the Tehran after agreement with USA to assign him as Iran leader!
    The Mullah regime brought war and tension in all over the area and dictatorship and corruption for Iranian people and now they wanted bomb to control the region!.

    February 5, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Reply

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