Bahram Qassemi

London lacks goodwill in recent move to grant “diplomatic protection” to Zaghari

MNA – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said “we have been informed about UK government’s recent move to grant “diplomatic protection” to Nazanin Zaghari, and also received a note from the official channels in this regard.”

At present, the relevant sections are reviewing the legal and political aspects of this note and will respond as appropriate, he added.

This move by the UK Government does not in itself create any new legal status either internally or internationally, but merely reflects a political decision by the government of the United Kingdom, which is contrary to even its explicit legal positions in international communities, Ghasemi noted.

He argued that “what is certain is that, firstly, the British government lacks goodwill regarding the move, and secondly, the move is not considered constructive or positive in any way, and if it does not complicate the situation, it will certainly not simplify that.”

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced on Friday that London had decided to give Zaghari diplomatic protection “as part of the Government’s continuing efforts to secure her release.”

“Affording diplomatic protection in Nazanin’s case represents formal recognition by the British Government that her treatment fails to meet Iran’s obligations under International law and elevates it to a formal State to State issue,” a statement by the UK Foreign Office said.

“I have today decided that the UK will take a step that is extremely unusual and exercise diplomatic protection,” Hunt said in a video message.

In reaction to Hunt’s statement, Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad said the UK government’s extension of diplomatic protection to Zaghari contravenes international law.

“Govts may only exercise such protection for own nationals. As UK Govt is acutely aware, Iran does not recognize dual nationality. Irrespective of UK residency, Ms Zaghari thus remains Iranian,” he said in a Friday tweet.