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Senior MP Urges Closure of British Embassy in Tehran

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, April 16 (ICANA) – A senior Iranian legislator slammed the British embassy in Tehran for releasing unreal comments against Iran on its website and showing flagrant animosity towards the Iranian nation in recent months, and called for the closure of the British mission in Tehran.
Saturday, April 16, 2011 10:40:22 PM
Senior MP Urges Closure of British Embassy in Tehran

"The embassy of Britain's royal regime has brought itself closer to closure through this last measure," member of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Hossein Ebrahimi told FNA on Saturday, yet he stressed that the Iranian nation does not care about such baseless remarks.

He described such baseless allegations against Iranian officials and about human rights situation in Iran as a plot hatched by the British authorities to divert attention of the world public opinion from their evil deeds in the countries of the region and their role in the massacre of the regional people.

Ebrahimi also announced that the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission will surely study the insulting measure taken by the British embassy against the Iranian nation in a move to work out a proper response.

The provocative action by the British embassy in Tehran is nothing new. In some similar remarks released on the Embassy website late in 2010, British Envoy to Tehran Simon Gass criticized the human rights conditions 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.

In reaction, more than 30 Iranian legislators on February 7, 2011 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 Gass's remarks.

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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