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  Last Update:  30 November 2011 17:24  GMT                                      Volume. 11309

Downgrading ties with Britain is just the first step
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The Iranian parliament’s recent bill mandating that diplomatic ties with the United Kingdom be downgraded was in fact a direct response to Britain’s hostile policies toward the Islamic Republic of Iran over the past few decades. 

Britain has had a hand in every conspiracy against Iran since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The most recent hostile move by the British government was its decision to prohibit British companies and business enterprises from conducting any transactions with the Central Bank of Iran, which is ostensibly a measure meant to halt Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. 

But the move will have no palpable affect on Iran’s economic situation because the level of business transactions between Iran and the UK has been reduced to the lowest level in recent years. 

Britain’s adoption of hostile policies toward Iran’s 2009 presidential election, encouragement of other Western countries to adopt similar measures, and imposition of sanctions on the Iranian government and Iranian institutions indicate that London is not really interested in having constructive relations with Iran, which is the most powerful country in the Middle East. 

In recent years, the legislators of Iran’s Majlis have repeatedly called on the administration to cut off diplomatic relations with Britain. Last year, the members of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee presented a bill calling for all diplomatic relations with the country to be cut off, but it was not approved by the Majlis Presiding Board. This time, a bill to downgrade ties with Britain was approved by MPs and swiftly endorsed by the Guardian Council, which supervises the ratifications of the Iranian parliament. 

According to the bill, the Iranian Foreign Ministry has been assigned the responsibility to downgrade Tehran-London diplomatic ties to the level of charge d’affaires and limit all economic and cultural collaboration to a minimum level.

During the days prior to the ratification of the bill, British officials in Tehran and London made the utmost efforts to prevent the Iranian parliament from making the decision. However, the consensus of the legislators and the MPs’ near unanimous vote to approve the bill indicated that there is not a single person in Iran who is in favor of continuing diplomatic relations with the British government in the current form. 

As Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani noted after the ratification of the bill, it is only the beginning for Britain, and the Islamic Republic will consider taking tougher measures, including cutting relations in all the previous areas of cooperation. 

Due to Britain’s longstanding animosity toward the Iranian nation, all citizens are happy to hear that the level of diplomatic relations with the country has been downgraded to the minimum level. 

The British Embassy’s failure to fulfill its environmental responsibilities in regard to the British ambassador’s summer residence in the Qolhak Garden in northern Tehran, where about 310 trees were cut down, has intensified the people’s anger.  

And the Iranian people believe that the British Embassy’s next act of treachery against the country will be worse than cutting down trees. 

MP Hossein Ebrahimi is a senior member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee.

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