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Iran reviewing relations with UK

Following the remarks made by the British envoy to Tehran, a senior Iranian lawmaker says next week the Parliament (Majlis) will review downgrading ties with Britain.

“The proposal for downgrading the level of ties with Britain was referred to the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission for further assessment months ago, and the members of the commission reviewed and comprehensively discussed it,” the commission’s Spokesman Kazem Jalali said on Sunday.

Iran’s Parliament referred the draft legislation, which called for severing diplomatic ties with Britain, to the Commission in January.

“Considering the British ambassador’s frequent impudence, failure to observe diplomatic ethics, and the repeated interference of other British officials in Iran’s affairs such as the meddling and threats issued by [MI6 Chief John] Sawers which led to the death of Dr. Shahriari… downgrading ties seems necessary,” Fars News Agency quoted Jalali as saying.

On October 28, Sawers, accused Iran of pursuing clandestine nuclear activities and said spying was crucial to stop Tehran’s nuclear program.

“Stopping nuclear proliferation cannot be addressed purely by conventional diplomacy. We need intelligence-led operations to make it more difficult for countries like Iran to develop nuclear weapons,” Sawers said.

On December 9, British Ambassador to Tehran Simon Gass posted a questionable note on the British Embassy website regarding 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. Nowhere are they under greater threat than in Iran,” the British diplomat claimed.

“The British government will continue to draw attentions to cases where people are deprived of their fundamental freedoms,” Gass wrote.

Apparently the British ambassador has the responsibility to meddle in the affairs of other countries and has heard nothing about the recent incidents in his country, Jalali said.

Gass’ remarks come at a time when the British government is brutally cracking down on student protests in the UK.

The police handling of the London protests on Thursday resulted in the arrest of 34 people and sent at least 43 demonstrators to hospitals including 20-year-old Alfie Meadows, who underwent brain surgery after receiving a blow to the head by a police truncheon.

The police also resorted to violence in several ‘unprovoked attacks’ on a number of marchers in Parliament Square including a disabled journalist, Jody McIntyre, who was dragged from his wheelchair and knocked to the ground by officers.

Iran will not lose anything by downgrading ties and this is the least Britain deserves to pay in compensation, Jalali added.

“The National Security and Foreign Policy Commission’s final decision will be made next Sunday,” Jalali concluded.

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