Iran parliament votes to downgrade relations with UK

Iranian parliament The vote comes in a difficult period for relations between the two countries

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Iran's parliament has voted by a large majority to downgrade diplomatic relations with the UK.

The move comes after the UK Treasury imposed sanctions on Iranian banks on Tuesday, accusing them of facilitating the country's nuclear programme.

Iranian radio reported some MPs chanted "Death to Britain" during the vote, which was approved by 87% of MPs.

The move needs approval by Iran's Guardian Council, which vets all legislation, before it can take effect.

Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani warned that the chamber was "observing the behaviour of this country [Britain], and it is the beginning of the road," Iranian state media reports.

The vote could lead to the expulsion of the British ambassador in Tehran, Dominick Chilcott, who was only appointed to the post last month.

Britain's Foreign Office said that the vote was "regrettable".

"If the Iranian Government acts on this, we will respond robustly in consultation with our international partners," it said.

Nuclear row

Relations between Iran and the UK have been worsening amid rising tension over Iran's nuclear programme.

The sanctions announced by Chancellor George Osborne on Tuesday cut off all UK financial ties with Iranian banks.

Mr Osborne said there was evidence that Iran's banks were funding its nuclear programme.

That decision followed a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency that suggested Iran was working towards acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Iran says its nuclear programme has entirely peaceful ends.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    It always disappoints me hearing countries falling out with each other. You meet ordinary citizens from these nations and you'll find that they have many of the same concerns and cares as we have here! Power and politics in the hands of a few is a combustible mix, not easily relinquished!

  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    Given the extreme threat they are under from nuclear nations such as the UK and USA who on earth would blame them for wanting nuclear weapons?

    Indeed given that many other countries have them in massive stockpiles they have every single and absolute right to also have them.

    What we are seeing here is Iraq 2

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    Not allowing Iran to have nukes when we do is as hypocritical as not allowing children to use matches and knives when we do. It's all about responsibility and consequences.

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    In response to 'grumpish', if Israel has possessed nuclear weapons since the sixties, as reported, then there is zero danger of Israel using them unless its existence was under immediate and dire threat. Even when its forces were in grave danger of being overrun on two fronts in the early days of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, it did not resort to these alleged nuclear weapons.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    UK needs to have its own foreign policy and stop itself being run as another US state.


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