‘Reduction of ties, firm response to UK’

A senior Iranian official says the decision by Iran’s Majlis to downgrade the country’s ties with the UK is an appropriate reaction to London’s ‘expansionist’ doctrine.

“The Majlis’ measure to draw up a bill for reducing [diplomatic] relations with the UK is a firm response to an expansionist state like Britain, which always pursues antagonistic policies against our country,” Ali Akbar Velayati, senior advisor to Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Ali Khamenei, said on Sunday.

The top Iranian official hailed Majlis’ initiative as a “measure in line with the Iranian nation’s demands,” Mehr news agency reported.

In an open session of Majlis on Sunday, Iranian lawmakers passed a double-urgency bill aimed at downgrading Tehran-London diplomatic ties to the level of charge d’affaires and limiting all economic and cultural collaborations to the minimum level.

The Iranian lawmakers offered the bill in response to the UK’s recent decision to impose sanctions against the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, over the allegation that Tehran’s nuclear program may consist of a covert military agenda.

UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne declared on Monday that London was terminating all contacts between the British financial system and the entire Iranian banking system, even though, according to Iranian financial authorities, such contacts had been severed a long time ago and that the announcement is purely political and will in no way impact Iran’s financial dealings.

On Tuesday, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani announced that Tehran would review its relations with those European countries that have unilaterally imposed sanctions on Iran.

The sanctions were imposed after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors adopted a US-engineered resolution against Iran’s nuclear program on November 18 that was poorly supported by its members and strongly refuted by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member nations.

Moreover, the resolution failed in its attempt to report Iran to the UN Security Council or in setting a deadline for Tehran to comply.

Iran has dismissed the report as “unbalanced, unprofessional,” and prepared with political motives and under extreme pressure by the United States.

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