Call for Downgrading UK Relations

Call for Downgrading UK Relations

Some lawmakers have drafted and submitted to the Majlis Presiding Board a motion demanding the government downgrade diplomatic and economic ties with Britain. The Monday move was a reaction to last Wednesday's statements by UK Prime Minister Theresa May who described Tehran as a state actor "whose influence fuels instability in the region."

Mohsen Kouhkan, a parliamentarian, told ISNA that "we believe the untrue rhetoric used by British officials" should receive a "logical response".

In response to such "insulting" remarks, the motion gives two weeks to the Foreign Ministry to "downgrade its diplomatic relations with the UK to charge d'affaires level and reduce economic and trade cooperation to a minimum. May also told a summit of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council in Bahrain that "we should work together to push back against Iran's aggressive regional actions". The Foreign Ministry summoned British Ambassador Nicholas Hopton over May's comments on Saturday, while the ministry's spokesman, Bahram Qasemi, denounced May's "irresponsible, provocative and divisive remarks".

The two countries had exchanged ambassadors in September, more than a year after Britain reopened its Tehran embassy, which was closed for nearly four years.

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