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Iran parliament renewing demand to cut ties with Britain: Speaker


Tehran: Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani Saturday said the country’s parliament was renewing its demand to cut diplomatic relations with Britain.

“Britain has had a damaging role in Iran and these damaging moves and interferences should not remain unanswered,” Larijani said.

A draft bill on cutting relations was to be debated in parliament, he told Mehr news agency, though he did not say when.

Political tensions between Tehran and London were reignited after the disputed presidential election in 2009 when Britain supported popular protests against alleged electoral fraud.

The Iranian parliament has over the last year called on the foreign ministry to revise and even cut ties with Britain.

The row was given fresh impetus last month when the British ambassador to Tehran, Simon Gass, criticized Iran’s human rights record and demanded the release of dissident, human rights activist and lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, on the embassy’s official website.

The Iranian government has so far rejected parliament’s demands, saying it instead preferred to downgrade some business cooperations.

Larijani said that the power to cut ties with Britain lay in the hands of parliament and not other bodies.