Britain’s policy toward Iran will continue to be ‘responsive’: academic

May 19, 2015

TEHRAN - Afshin Shahi, a lecturer in international relations at the University of Bradford, says Britain’s policies towards Iran will continue to be “responsive.”

On May 8 Prime Minister David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, unexpectedly won a landslide victory in the parliamentary election, a triumph that knocked out Labor party and allowed him to claim a clear mandate to govern Britain.

“I think the future government’s policies towards the Middle East and Iran will continue to be responsive,” Shahi tells the Tehran Times.

Shahi said it does not make a difference who is in power in Britain because no government can have a “long term” policy in the Middle East as the political developments in the region are “very fast”.

“The political landscape of the Middle East is changing very fast, and the changing dynamics of the region makes it very hard for any government to have a long term policy.”

However, he said, the British policy towards the Middle East will “continue to complement American foreign policy in the region, certainly in the next two years while Obama is still in office.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Cameron must continue repairing Britain’s recovering economy, find solutions to difficult issues such as immigration, and deliver on a bevy of promises forged in the heat of the campaign.

Shahi said, “Cameron claims that the economic recovery is not over yet, and he should be given more time to finish the job and make the British economy more resilient. His policies are typically conservative: less tax, less public expenditure and more room for the market and privatization.”

Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour party, had argued that the recovery was benefiting the rich and most people were still worse off. But he failed to connect with working class voters or convince the public he could be trusted with the world’s fifth largest economy.

The professor of the University of Bradford said the Labour party campaigned against further austerity measures “which in theory should be very popular with both working and middle classes.”

However, he said, Miliband was criticized for being too “uncharismatic”.

“Some people simply don’t like his leadership qualities.”