Iran Parliament bill may downgrade ties with UK
"Considering the gross interference of the British government in the post-election developments, the Parliament (Majlis) has opted for lowering the level of ties between Tehran and London," said Sobhani-Nia, reported PressTV.
Tensions between Iran and Britain crept to public view after Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced that the country is thinking of breaking relations with Britain in some 12 working fields.
"After months of deliberation, the Tehran government has decided to limit its relations with Britain in various areas," Mottaki said in an address to the 19th International Conference on the Persian Gulf in Tehran on January 18.
"There are 10-12 working fields between Iran and the UK. We are currently reviewing each area," he continued, adding that the Islamic Republic would make a final decision about the issue.
Dozens of Iranian lawmakers have thrown their weight behind the bill. One of whom, Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, has directly blamed Britain for the recent bomb attack that killed Iranian nuclear scientist Masoud Ali Mohammadi in northern Tehran.
Abtahi, who co-authored the bill, has also criticized Britain for recognizing the Monarchy Organization of Iran (Anjoman-e Padeshahi-e Iran) as a legal entity, and has vocally advocated the closure of the British Embassy in Tehran.
Diplomatic relations between Iran and Britain have had many ups and downs in the years that followed the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The two countries first severed ties in 1989, shortly after the publication of the controversial book, The Satanic Verses, which sparked worldwide outrage in the late 1980s.
In September 1990, Iran and Britain resumed ties at a lower level, which was gradually increased to an ambassadorial level in the ensuing years. The two countries eventually restored full diplomatic relations after a visit by then-British Secretary Jack Straw to Iran in 2001.