Diplomacy is the established method of influencing the decisions and behavior of foreign governments and peoples through dialogue, negotiation, and other measures short of war or violence. Although in traditional diplomatic practices governments were the only players being qualified to study and survey and implement foreign policies, emergence of such factors as economic growth, civil societies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) led to para-diplomacy (´parallel diplomacy´) as it came on the scene of foreign policy.
Among instances of para-diplomacy, parliamentary diplomacy is even regarded as the most important and most efficient model of its kind at present age. Although certain classic thinkers of international relations doubted “parliamentary diplomacy” and called it ambiguous, national parliaments in the course of history gradually and inevitably were engaged in the issue to the extent that today, many theorists of international relations believe there is no doubt in the concept of parliamentary diplomacy. Despite certain doubts, international parliamentary activities are an undeniable reality and therefore, besides the traditional role of parliaments in formation of macro international relations such as ratification of the budget for the government’s foreign activities and approval of bilateral and multi-lateral foreign contracts, agreements and treaties with other governments.
Within this framework, the parliament speaker plays the major role. Exchange of visits and meetings and talks with foreign counterparts on issues of mutual interest, inking agreements and joint parliamentary statements, exchange of messages and correspondence, issuance of statements and so on is among the activities of the parliament speaker in the foreign policy domain.
To this end, the Islamic Republic of Iran parliament speakers have been playing a remarkable role with respect to the powerful status of the parliament. Their role went to the extent that in each period, hundreds of meetings and discussions with the parliamentary and non-parliamentary official visits and exchange visits with many countries took place.