UK’s Iranophobic Stance Demands Strong Response

UK’s Iranophobic Stance Demands Strong ResponseUK’s Iranophobic Stance Demands Strong Response

Two lawmakers believe Iran should not leave unanswered recent Iranophobic statements by UK Prime Minister Theresa May who described Tehran as a state actor "whose influence fuels instability in the region."

May said during an address to the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Bahrain on Wednesday, "we should work together to push back against Iran's aggressive regional actions whether in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Syria or in the [Persian] Gulf itself."

Morteza Saffari Natanzi, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ICANA on Saturday that Iran has always been a "champion of peace" in the Persian Gulf, the wider West Asia and the whole globe, as opposed to Britain that has a long record of interfering in the region and depriving nations of their rights, including democracy.

The legislator said May's remarks are against international law and Iran's diplomatic apparatus should give a strong response through international bodies.

"Not many months have passed since British officials made repeated requests and contacts to reopen their embassy in our country," he said. The two countries exchanged ambassadors in September, more than a year after Britain reopened its Tehran embassy, which was closed for nearly four years.

The Foreign Ministry summoned British Ambassador Nicholas Hopton over May's comments on Saturday, with the spokesman Bahram Qasemi saying it was in protest to May's "irresponsible, provocative and divisive remarks."

In a Wednesday interview with the Saudi news channel Al-Arabiya, May said she is very "clear-eyed" about Iran's "malign activities", adding that Britain is willing to work with the Persian Gulf Arab States on "ensuring the stability and security of the region".

May also said she is looking to build on trade relationships with oil kingdoms.

"We already see significant exports from the UK into the [Persian] Gulf states, and significant investment from the [Persian] Gulf states in the UK. I want to take that further," she said.

Hosseinali Haji-Deligani, another lawmaker, also told ICANA on Saturday that May's anti-Iran rhetoric is aimed at selling British arms and moving the wheels of Britain's economy, which faces uncertainties after a June referendum prompted Britain's exit from the European Union.

The lawmaker said some parliamentarians are looking to propose a motion to oblige the government to reduce the level of diplomatic ties with Britain.

"The parliament has had a legislation about downgrading ties with Britain before and we can also work on such legislation again," he said.


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