Tehran, June 26 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned British Ambassador Richard John Dalton to strongly protest against the recent remarks by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in which he voiced support for the recent unrest in Iran.

Ali Ahani, Iran's deputy foreign minister for Euro-American affairs, told Dalton that Blair's remarks can be interpreted as UK interference in Iran's internal affairs, contrary to London's official position toward Tehran.


Also, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamidreza Assefi on Tuesday said Blair's remarks were "irrelevant" and "outside the norms of mutual understanding and respect."


He added that adopting such positions will harm bilateral ties and disrupt relations, stressing that only Britain will suffer as a result of this.


It is ironic that British officials, just like their U.S. counterparts, never respect public opinion in their own country, yet voice support for what they call the demands of the people of other countries. This is another example of British and U.S. leaders' relentless efforts to manipulate public opinion.


The British government turned a blind eye to its domestic public opinion when it declared that it would join the U.S. coalition against Iraq. Why is it now voicing support for the demands of a small fraction of the Iranian nation?


It is important to note that London is supporting a group of agitators in Tehran, but has always ignored the rights of the people of Northern Ireland.


Besides, as Assefi said, Blair cannot deflect attention from the fact that he is blameworthy for joining the U.S. coalition against Baghdad by provoking Iranian public opinion.


If British officials are sincere in their claims of supporting the demands of Iranians, why are they denying the Iraqi people the right to self-determination?


Furthermore, the Iranian people have not had a favorable attitude toward British politicians from a historical point of view, particularly in light of the fact that most Iranians regard Britain as the symbol of colonialism.


Blair made the interfering remarks at a time when relations between Iran and the UK have been progressing, despite many ups and downs over the past few years. However, it seems that Blair's remarks will have a negative impact on Tehran-London trade ties.      


Experience shows that whenever London is influenced by Washington and the Zionist lobby in its dealings with Iran, it seriously damages its relations with Tehran.


Up to now, it appeared that London's policies toward Iran were different from those of Washington. Undoubtedly, Blair's subservience to Washington will undermine his position at home and at the international level.

News Code 319

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