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Last updated: 24 june, 2009 - 16:58 GMT

Iran and Britain: a tense relationship

A demonstrator holds a placard reading 'Down with British' as protestors burn flags outside the British embassy in Tehran on June 23, 2009

The Iranian government has often accused the West of interfering in its politics.

The United States has been cast as the Great Satan and there has been no shortage of anti-Israeli rhetoric coming from Iran's leaders.

Protestors in Iran hold up placards stating (l-r) "BBC Persian is against the government of the people" and "Close down the British Embassy and close down the BBC"

Some do not see a distinction between the British government and the BBC

However, in recent days, the authorities have been focussing particular attention on Britain.

Last Friday, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei called Britain the most "evil" of the "hungry wolves in ambush" on Iran.

The Iranian government has expelled two British diplomats and the British have responded by expelling two Iranians.

Nanzanin Ansari is the diplomatic correspondent for the London-based Farsi language weekly newspaper, Kayhan.

The World Today's Max Pearson asked her why Tehran is pointing the finger specifically at Britain?

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First broadcast 23 June 2009


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