Catalytic Diplomacy

Note to Political Exchange

Bahman Baktiari’s book Parliamentary Politics in Revolutionary Iran: The Institutionalization of Factional Politics (University Press of Florida [1996], pp. 71-72) shows that the other six members of the committee included such archconservatives as Mohammad Khamene’i, now Supreme Leader, Mohammad Yazdi, and Ali Akbar Nateq-Nuri. And it shows they were not in a mood to cooperate with a resolution like Bojnourdi’s.

Meanwhile, Bojnourdi’s biography says that, in the first meeting of the parliamentary group, when Hajj Ahmad offered a resolution with four articles, Bojnourdi countered: “We have an established government and such a government cannot involve itself in actions such as hostage-taking. Hostage-taking, in the eyes of an irresponsible group of revolutionaries, is one thing, but for an officially accepted and established government is another.” He had suggested that, before the release, it would be best to “establish a court-like session in order to condemn the United States' aggressive and colonial policies toward Iran.” But he wanted claims with regard to frozen Iranian assets to be raised only later, after the release of the hostages.

Continue reading chapter