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Divisions in Tehran over Rapprochement with Gulf States | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.AP

London- Leaked information uncovered a dispute between members of the Iranian regime on issues related to reviving diplomatic ties with Gulf States and the position from Syria.

According to the leaks, there is also a controversy on letters exchanged between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in which the Iranian minister suggested holding a secret meeting in Istanbul and opening direct channels between the administrations of both countries.

On Monday, member of Iran’s Parliament Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Karimi Ghoddousi accused Zarif of secretly communicating with Tillerson. He also said the government of President Hassan Rouhani had sought to ink seven agreements – similar to the Nuclear Deal signed with the West – with GCC States and the U.S.

Daneshjoo news agency quoted Ghoddousi as saying that those agreements included issues related to Iran’s missile program, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and opening an office for the European Union in Tehran.

On Tuesday, Iran’s foreign ministry issued a statement strongly rejecting his accusations.

“The depth of maliciousness in Mr. Ghoddousi’s character and his sheer intransigence in his unfounded allegations against the highest-ranking foreign policy official is unfortunate,” the statement said.

Ghoddousi also said Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis had visited Tehran mid-January, days after Rouhani ordered to stop exporting 100,000 barrels of oil to Syria, adding that an urgent decision later allowed sending the oil shipment.

Separately, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Iran’s economy was threatened of “renewed uncertainty” linked to Tehran’s relations with the U.S. administration of Donald Trump and the threat of enforcing new sanctions on Iran.

In its annual report issued Tuesday, the IMF wrote that uncertainty regarding the fate of the nuclear deal and relations with the U.S. threaten to undermine the Iranian economy, which had an “impressive recovery” following sanctions relief last year.