Good Chance to Improve Foreign Relations

Good Chance to Improve Foreign RelationsGood Chance to Improve Foreign Relations

A lawmaker said Iran should take advantage of the opportunity arisen from the recent nuclear deal with major powers to develop its international relations.

"With the (nuclear) agreement, a good opportunity is at hand to enhance interaction with the world," Abbasali Mansouri Arani told ICANA on Saturday.

Pointing to the diplomatic efforts underway to reopen the embassies of Iran and Britain, he said, "Given the considerable number of Iranian expatriates living in Britain and the interaction between the people of the two countries, we cannot and should not sever diplomatic ties."

Relations with London can be expanded to cover various domains, including science and technology and exports in which case, "the welfare of UK-based Iranians should be our priority," Mansouri Arani noted.

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.

The nuclear accord clinched between Iran and Britain and five other powers (the United States, France, Germany, Russia and China) on July 14 in Vienna boosted the prospects of Tehran-London relations.

A day after the deal was announced, British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond said, "I very much hope that we will be in a position to reopen our respective embassies before the end of the year," adding that the reopening was dependent on resolving some technical issues. He did not elaborate.

  UK Ties No Off-Limits

Mansouri Arani noted that restoring ties with London would not violate any of the Islamic Republic's red lines.

"The red lines of the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran were identified long ago," the member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said, adding that while relations with the US and Israel are among our red lines, this is not the case with Britain.

"We should establish relations with any country that is not subject to our red lines to help preserve national interests."

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and other officials have stressed that the nuclear pact will not change Iran's policies toward the United States and contacts between the old adversaries will not go beyond the deal requirements.

Iran does not recognize the US ally Israel.

Mansouri Arani said tensions that have arisen in Iran-Britain relations throughout history should not prevent restoration of bilateral ties.

It is natural that countries experience problems in their relations, he said. "For example, Iraq fought us directly during the eight-year imposed war, Afghanistan and Pakistan have assisted the Taliban at times and Russia and China voted to approve the United Nations resolutions against us."

"If we base our decisions on such (past) issues, many countries would be eliminated" from the list of Iran's potential partners, the lawmaker added.