UK debt to Iran, irrelevant to Zaghari case of espionage

TEHRAN, Nov. 18 (MNA) – Iranian envoy to Londan says that the case of UK government debt to Iran from a 1974 and a 1976 arms deal is irrelevant to the case of British spy in Iran.

“The British government repayment of the £450 million debt to the Islamic Republic of Iran which is related to the arms deal of 1974 is of no relevance to the espionage case of Nazanin Zaghari who has been indicted for security charges in Iran or any other issue,” reassured Iran’s ambassador to London, Hamid Baeedinejad, on Friday.

He made the remarks in an interview with Iranian official news agency IRNA.

“Iran’s claims case against British military firm has a long history and is not a case of the past couple of years,” reassured the Iranian envoy to London. “The contracts between Iran and UK over Chieftain tanks and armored vehicles were signed in 1974 and 1976, something around more than 40 years ago,” recounted the Iranian diplomat.

“After the victory of the Islamic Revolution the main parts of the pact were not met and the British breached the deal,” he added. “Accordingly, Iran lodge a legal complaint against the British firm and the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the Netherlands, got into position as the referee with the jurisdiction to settle the case,” Mr. Baeedinejad recounted.

“Following up the Iranian case against the British, the court rolled out its first verdict in 2001 and the British were convicted in both cases,” continued the Iranian diplomat.

According to him, Britain received an advance payment from Iran and delivered some tanks in the next few years before the Islamic Revolution, but it stopped adhering to its deal commitments after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 that toppled the US-backed monarch. 

Of note, the British government sold the remaining tanks to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to be used against Iran in the 1980-88 imposed war. 

He then touched upon the issue of motherhood, in the case of Zaghari who has been sentenced to five year prison for her involvement in sabotage and vendetta operations against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“The psychological pressures upon Nazanin Zaghari and her husband because of their young child is appreciable as they have a young child kept far from them by Zaghari’s parents in Iran,” said Mr. Baeedinejad. “However, Zaghari has the full access to meet her child on a regular basis, we see that the mother-child relationship has aroused strong public feeling in the UK,” he maintained.

“But these feelings cannot change the nature of the case; Ms. Zaghari is an Iranian citizen who has been sentenced by an Iranian court,” asserted the ambassador.

“During the calls and negotiations, we have reassured the British side that from the humane aspect of the issue, Iranian officials will do their best to help Ms. Zaghari and her family,” said Mr. Baeedinejad.

YNG/ IRN 82733571

News Code 129525


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