UK MP: Iran extremely important regional player

London, 23 Aug, IRNA — A British MP and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Iran welcomed the reopening of the British and Iranian embassies, and said Iran has deep insight to the crisis in region and its input is needed to resolve the problems.

IRNA reporter in London held a brief interview with ‘Richard Bacon’ on the sidelines of reopening the Iranian embassy in London. The following is the full text of the interview:

Q. How would you describe the importance of reopening the embassy?
A. It is very important to have relations with Iran.
Iran knows the region extremely well and many countries in the west – Britain, France , US – have been trying to influence what is going on with Daesh in Syria and in Iraq but with great difficulty because I think our own involvement historically of the last hundred years or so hasn’t in many cases helped and I think we need the knowledge and the insight of a country like Iran in the region to help us.
Of course there are historic problems and differences between the Shiite and the Sunni but we all want to see the Middle East, including both sides of the Persian Gulf living in peace, because the prospects for prosperity across the middle east and Levant are very substantial if people can find a way to live in peace.
Iran is a very important part in making all that happen.

Q: How significant would you describe today’s event?
A. It’s a very important day; we’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Iran is an extremely important player in the Middle East and its been very disappointing that we’ve not had proper diplomatic relations with them for so long.
I think many of the problems in the Middle East with Syria, Iraq and with Daeshwill not be solved without the input of countries like Iran which has deep insight knowledge and local knowledge and understands the problems with the depth that we cannot hope to match.
In some of the contributions of the west for the last hundred years we created things more difficult. So we need the help of countries like Iran to secure peace in the Middle East.
There are of course also important opportunities in education and commerce and culture which I think which I think we should both benefit from.
Q. What about Israel’s worry regarding regional stability?
A. I think it’s more of a reflection of the current Israeli government.
The present head of Mosaad said that failure to solve the Palestinian conflict is a greater threat to Israel’s security than a nuclear Iran.
Q. What would you say to those who say things are moving too fast?
A. I do not think opening embassies would make you best friends. I hope we would become good friends because we have a long history with Iran and not all of that history reflects creditably on the UK.
But this (Iran) is the most important ancient culture in the Middle East, it got a sustained steady history going back 3000 years. Its little understood in the West and we do not appreciate its significance.
That has to change. You don’t only have an embassy with a country because you like them; In fact, you have embassies with countries in order to get on with them and in order to improve relations between them.
This is the start of a process and I certainly would not say its been going too fast; We have been waiting for this moment for a very long time.