UK cut off ties, must initiate their revival: Iran

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi has emphasized that Britain should take the measure to revive relations with Tehran since it was London that unilaterally severed ties with the Islamic Republic.

Taking the initiative to restore ties requires a revision of UK’s approaches and behavior, said Araqchi in an interview with Fars News Agency on Sunday.

“The Iranian government must come to the conclusion that the revival of [London-Tehran] relations is in the interest of the country (Iran),” he said.

In a phone call to Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Wednesday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed UK’s willingness to enhance cooperation and diplomatic contacts with the Islamic Republic and offered to hold further talks with Iranian representatives to discuss ways to improve bilateral relations.

Pointing to Hague’s phone call as well as the willingness expressed by former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to visit Iran as part of London’s effort to reestablish relations with Tehran, Araqchi further emphasized that Straw had better begin the thawing process in London and try to change the approach toward Iran in the British capital.

On November 27, 2011, Iranian lawmakers voted by a large majority to downgrade diplomatic ties with the United Kingdom, in response to Britain’s decision to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran, over the allegation that Tehran’s nuclear energy program may include a covert military agenda.

Two days after the decision by Iran Majlis, hundreds of Iranian students staged a protest outside the British Embassy in Tehran and pulled down the UK flag.

On November 30, London cut off its ties with Tehran, withdrew its diplomatic staff from Iran and the Iranian Embassy in London was closed.

On Iran’s relations with Turkey, Araqchi described the country as a “friend and a close neighbor of Iran” and said ties between the two nations are “very deep and historical.”

He added, however, that some differences of opinion exist between Tehran and Ankara, which he said have more to do with “regional policies of the two nations rather than their bilateral ties.”

“We have certain differences of viewpoints with Turkey regarding Egypt, Syria and Iraq, which we do not deny and openly declare, and we [even] engage in challenges with them (Turkish officials) in our meetings [over those differences], but we don’t allow these differences to affect the rest of our cooperation, and so collaboration in other political, economic and cultural fields continues,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman further explained.

Regarding Iran’s ties with Azerbaijan, Araqchi said the relations between the two neighboring nations in recent years have been affected by misunderstandings created by elements from “third parties.” However, he added, major efforts have been undertaken by both nations to remove the misunderstandings and build confidence.

By Press TV


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