Improvement in UK Relations Likely

Improvement in UK Relations Likely Improvement in UK Relations Likely

The head of the Iran-Britain Parliamentary Friendship Group said the outcome of Britain’s recent general elections offers better prospects for Tehran-London relations.

“An improvement in Iran-Britain ties is expected. Given this, I believe there will be an acceleration in the process of reopening the two countries’ embassies,” Abbasali Mansouri Arani told ICANA on Monday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron swept to a stunning election victory on Friday to form the first majority Conservative government since John Major’s surprise victory in 1992.

“It is felt that now the British government will step up efforts for the reopening of the embassies and, hence, the process will accelerate,” Mansouri Arani said. Britain cut its ties with Tehran in 2011 and withdrew its diplomatic staff from Iran and ordered the staff of the Iranian Embassy in London to leave. The move came after an angry group stormed the British Embassy to protest London’s policy on Iran.

Nearly two years later in October 2013 and following the election of President Hassan Rouhani, the two sides agreed to appoint non-resident chargés d’affaires as a first step toward normalizing ties. “I think British Conservatives have recently turned to a better and more moderate approach toward Iran,” Mansouri Arani said, adding, “What I have witnessed in talks with British officials has been more eagerness to maintain and bolster relations with Iran.”

“The nature of ties between Iran and Britain is determined by the two countries’ overall approach toward each other,” he said, noting, “However, British parties’ views on Iran are also important.”

“We have no problem with any country which is willing to interact with us based on mutual interests,” he stressed.

“In view of the fact that the British government is no longer a coalition government, it is expected to make better and wiser decisions on international issues.”

In UK general elections, each parliamentary constituency elects one MP to the House of Commons. If one party obtains a majority of seats, then that party is entitled to form a government. If the election leaves no single party with a majority, then there is either a minority government or a coalition government.