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MP Urges Tehran to Start Severance of Ties with Britain

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, June 12 (ICANA) – A senior Iranian legislator underlined Iran's serious decision on severing relations with Britain due to the latter's hostile stances against Tehran, and called on the government and parliament to accelerate implementation of the decision.
Sunday, June 12, 2011 10:54:08 PM
MP Urges Tehran to Start Severance of Ties with Britain

"No delay should be shown in dealing with the (parliament) bill on severing Iran's relations Britain," Seyed Mohammad Javad Abtahi said on Sunday, reminding London's growing arrogance against Tehran, including the British foreign secretary's recent allegations about Iran's interference in Syria's internal affairs.

Abtahi said that given the recent positions taken by the British foreign secretary, the parliament should show serious reaction and ratify the bill on cutting ties with Britain.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Britain's Parliament this week Tehran was helping suppress anti-government protests in Syria. He also claimed that London had "credible information" Iranian government had provided paramilitary training to Syrian security forces.

Hague's claims came nearly two weeks after the British government admitted that the Saudi troops sent to Bahrain to crush the popular uprisings in the tiny Persian Gulf island have had British military training.

The British Ministry of Defense admitted that members of the Saudi Arabian National Guard dispatched to Bahrain have received military trainings from the British Armed Forces in Saudi Arabia.

Britain keeps a large and secretive military training team in Saudi Arabia. British military personnel advise and teach the kingdom's forces in areas, including crowd control and suppression.

In a written parliamentary answer, British Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey said the Government could not rule out the possibility that British-trained Saudis took part in the Bahraini operation.

The parliamentary bill on downgrading or even severing ties with Britain was taken after London intensified its hostile stances against Iran in recent years.

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 even earlier 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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