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MPs: Severing Ties with Britain Incurs No Harm on Iran

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, April 12 (ICANA) – As the bill on downgrading Iran's ties with Britain is waiting for a final approval of the parliament, senior members of the different commissions of Iran's legislative body dismissed the claims that the move might be costly for the Iranian nation.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 10:16:12 PM
MPs: Severing Ties with Britain Incurs No Harm on Iran

Parliament's Vice-Speaker Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabi-Fard told FNA on Monday that the bill which has already been approved by the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission before will be discussed at the parliament in the near future.

"The bill is an agenda of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission to be studied at the parliament in due time," Aboutorabi-Fard said, adding that the parliament is now busy with studying the budget bill presented by the government and the bill to downgrade relations with London will be discussed in an appropriate time.

As regards certain questions about the possible costs of the move, Deputy Head of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mohammad Kowsari told FNA that "Britain's global position and influence is not so high and powerful that lowering or severing ties (with London) could harm Iran in the international arena."

Meantime, Rapporteur of the parliament's Education Commission Nourallah Heidari said claims that cutting ties with Britain will a deal scientific blow at Iran are merely a "political propaganda campaign".

Rapporteur of the Health Commission Hassan Ta'mini, too, pointed to the possibility of downgrading Iran's medical ties with Britain, and stressed that Iran is able to meet its medical needs independently and without Britain's help.

Also with regard to the possible economic consequences of the move for Iran, Head of the parliament's Economic Commission stressed that Iran is able to supply its needs from the other world countries in case London reciprocates the move with boycotts and embargos against Tehran.

Head of the parliament's Agricultural Commission Abbas Rajaei said that severing relations with Britain would pose no serious threat to Iran's agricultural sector.

Also, Rapporteur of the parliament's Industrial Commission stressed that "the claims that downgrading ties with Britain would harm Iran's industrial sector are baseless and unrealistic".

Meantime, Rapporteur of the parliament's Cultural Commission Sattar Hedaiyatkhah warned that Britain might resort to a negative propaganda campaign via anti-Iran TV networks such as the BBC Persian to save its reputation if Tehran severs its bilateral relations with London.

On February 7, more than 30 Iranian legislators had signed the single-urgency for introducing the bill of the law on cutting political relations with Britain to the parliament and submitted the bill to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani for a final approval by all their colleagues.

The 35 Iranian lawmakers who signed the preliminary bill described London's direct and indirect interference in Iran's internal affairs, hostile remarks and stances of the British officials against Tehran, financial support for seditious acts in Iran, media propaganda and spying activities against Iran as their reasons for supporting and introducing the bill.

The bill which is awaiting a final approval by a majority of the MPs necessitates the government to drop all its political relations with Britain and concurrently file lawsuits at Iranian and international bodies over the financial and spiritual damages inflicted on Iran by the British government so far.

It also urges the government to inquire the parliament's view about the resumption of relations in case the British government apologizes and asks for resuming bilateral relations with Iran.

The bill has already received the approval of the National Security and Foreign Policy commission. Late in December, the commission submitted the bill to the parliament's presiding board for final discussions and approval by all parliament members.

The Iranian lawmakers initially started drafting a bill to downgrade ties with London after Britain's direct involvement in stirring post-election unrests in Iran in 2009, but they intensified and accelerated the move after British Envoy to Tehran Simon Gass criticized the human rights situation in Iran.

"Today, International Human Rights Day is highlighting the cases of those people around the world who stand up for the rights of others - the lawyers, journalists and NGO workers who place themselves at risk to defend their countrymen," Gass said in a memo published by the British Embassy in Tehran on December 9.

"Nowhere are they under greater threat than in Iran. Since last year human rights defenders have been harassed and imprisoned," Gass added.

Other lawmakers, including head of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, had previously blasted the negative role of the British ambassador to Tehran, and asked the country's foreign ministry to expel him from Iran.

Following Britain's support for a group of wild demonstrators who disrespected Islamic sanctities and damaged private and public amenities and properties in Tehran on December 27, 2009, members of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission drafted bill of a law requiring the country's Foreign Ministry to cut relations with Britain.

The British government's blatant stance and repeated remarks in support of the last year unrests inside Iran and London's espionage operations and financial and media support for the opposition groups are among the reasons mentioned in the bill for cutting ties with Britain.

Iran has repeatedly accused the West of stoking post-election unrests, singling out Britain and the US for meddling. Tehran expelled two British diplomats and arrested a number of local staffs of the British embassy in Tehran after documents and evidence substantiated London's interfering role in stirring post-election riots in Iran.

In one of the court hearing sessions, British embassy's local staff in Tehran Hossein Rassam, who was charged with spying, admitted cultivating networks of contacts in the opposition movement using a £300,000 budget.

Rassam also confessed that the local staff of the embassy had attended protests against the June's presidential election results along with two British diplomats, named in court as Tom Burn and Paul Blemey, and that he had attended meetings with the defeated opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, alongside Burn.

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