TEHRAN (Basirat)- Chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi has warned England of re-downgrading relations following “divisive” remarks by Prime Minister Theresa May.
Chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi has warned England of re-downgrading relations following "divisive” remarks by Prime Minister Theresa May.
During the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation
Council’s annual summit in the Bahraini capital Manama on Wednesday, May
said she was "clear-eyed” about what she called "the threat” Iran poses
to the region.
May had also stressed England would help the council "push back” against what she branded Iran’s "aggressive regional actions.”
"The remarks by England’s prime
minister have nothing to do with the realities of the Islamic Republic
of Iran, and testify to England’s divisive policy,” said Boroujerdi in a
Boroujerdi further saw the comments
unfitting for ambassadorial-level relations between to Tehran and
London, threatening to re-downgrade relations.
"If England presses ahead with such
policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Majlis (parliament)
will once again take action to downgrade relations.”
The remarks had already drawn strong
condemnation from Iran’s Foreign Ministry which considers the remarks
motivated by England’s efforts to win further lucrative arms deals with
An ominous development
Over the past five years, bilateral
ties between Iran and England have seen both low and high points, yet on
a sluggishly improving track.
In what was a low point in diplomacy
between the two countries in November 2011, the Iranian Parliament voted
to expel the British ambassador and reduce diplomatic relations with
the country in retaliation for its new sanctions against Iran.
Following the vote, England’s embassy
compound in Tehran was raided by protestors who were demanding that the
British ambassador be sent home immediately.
England retaliated against the move, ordering Iran’s embassy in London to be closed, with its staff given 48 hours to leave.
The two countries resumed their ties
in 2015 by assigning chargés d’affaires, partially influenced by the
prospect of a successful nuclear deal with Iran.
The deal was announced in July 2015 as
foreign ministers of Iran, the U.S., Russia, China, England, Germany,
and France posed victoriously for cameras in Vienna on July 14,
signaling a thaw in ties with between Iran and the West.
One month later, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond took a formal visit to Iran, re-opening the British Embassy.
"Today's ceremony marks the end of one
phase in the relationship between our two countries and the start of a
new one - one that I believe offers the promise of better," he said
during an appearance at the embassy.
In September 2016, Iran and the United
Kingdom restored relations to the highest level by assigning and
dispatching their ambassadors to the other country each.
Hamid Baeidinejad, a key figure in the
Iranian nuclear negotiating team, and Nicholas Hopton, a Middle East
specialist, represent their countries in London and Tehran now,
Theresa May’s remarks come in stark contrast with Hopton’s hope for greater confidence between Iran and England.
"For me as the ambassador it’s a
priority to try and establish greater trust to build more cooperation…”
he told the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview in October.