Formation of parliamentary friendship groups with a selected group of countries and exchanging visits, talks and meetings among members of the groups not only has a natural symbolic function, but it also enables them to hold unofficial talks without observing considerations and official protocols of talks, thus playing an important role in tackling likely problems facing the countries.
The Islamic Parliament of Iran entered this important field of diplomacy in mid third term of Parliament following the formation of a friendship group with Pakistan’s National Parliament. Now in its 9th term, the Parliament has formed friendship groups with more than 100 parliaments of different countries.
The Foreign Policy Committee of the Parliament also has its own special role in parliamentary diplomacy; the motions and bills relating to the country’s foreign policy is studied firstly in the Committee and then goes to the plenary session of the parliament for voting. The deputies usually comply by the negative or positive opinion of the committee. Questioning and inquiring the foreign minister, exchange of delegates with the foreign committees of other countries is among other important instances that illustrate the role of the committee in specifying direction of the country’s foreign policy.
The National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Islamic Parliament of Iran enjoy the highest record of meetings and talks with counterpart committees and parliamentary officials of other countries after the Iran’s parliament speaker. In each period of the parliament, tens of the delegates are dispatched to the countries demanding such visits to hold talks on issues of mutual interest and supervise parliamentary elections in the countries. The Committee also hosts delegates coming from foreign committees of many countries.