UK Intends to Stay Out of Iran's Domestic Affairs

UK Intends to Stay Out of Iran's Domestic AffairsUK Intends to Stay Out of Iran's Domestic Affairs

The British ambassador to Iran said the Islamic Republic's domestic affairs, including recent riots, are none of his country's business and that the UK will stay out of Iranian internal affairs.

Ambassador Nicholas Hopton made the remarks in a Tuesday conference titled "Europe and the Geopolitical Affairs of West Asia", hosted by Iranian think tank the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Press TV reported.

About two weeks ago, peaceful protests were held in Iranian cities against price hikes and the overall economic condition of the country. Some violent individuals later sought to turn the peaceful protests into street riots.

However, the original protestors soon heeded calls by authorities to leave the streets so that their legitimate activities would not play into the hands of violent rioters.

While sporadic violence continued for several days—and claimed the lives of over a dozen people—the riots gradually ended.

  Controversial Coverage

In the course of those events, some British media outlets provided controversial coverage of the developments.

Hopton sought to distance the British government away from such coverage. He said the British media made their own editorial decisions and the UK government "exercised no control" over them.

He expressed concern about some of the coverage of the events in Iran by the media in his country, however.

"The position held by the British government is that Iran's domestic affairs are the concern of the country [itself]. The Iranian people should decide for themselves and freedom of expression and the freedom to express protest are the rights of the people."

"What the protestors seek is none of our and the British government's business, and the UK government will not interfere," he stressed.

Last Thursday, it was reported that Iran's Embassy in London had submitted a letter of complaint to the British media regulator Ofcom, denouncing the propaganda campaign launched by UK-based Persian-language broadcasters covering the riots.

The letter, the source said, pointed out that the outlets had acted in clear contravention of the British and international media regulations by trying to incite the protestors in Iran to resort to riots and armed violence.

In addition, Hopton said London was "fully" committed to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers.

The agreement removed nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran, which, in turn, applied certain limits to its nuclear energy program.

The British envoy pointed to the likelihood that the United States may unilaterally withdraw from the deal and said he hoped US President Donald Trump would make the right decision.

Trump faces a Friday deadline to announce whether he would certify Iranian compliance with the deal under domestic US law. He had twice certified that compliance but decertified it in mid-October. He sees the deal as a legacy of his Barack Obama that he should undo.

The United Nations and every other party to the deal have warned Washington against trying to derail the deal, calling it a triumph for diplomacy and a contributing factor to regional and international peace and security.


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