On Tuesday, British prime minister David Cameron, an Israeli poodle, announced that his government has decided to re-open its embassy in Tehran. He said the decision was made after realization that Iran under the presidency of Sheikh Hassan Rouhani can play a positive role in the region especially the conflict in Syria and Iraq.
Earlier, British foreign secretary William Hague, who in 2010 told British Jewish Lobby that he will fight Iran to defend Israel, told reporters that “circumstances are right to re-open the embassy” as result of UK-Iran dialogues in recent months.
Hague’s statement to parliament’s lower House of Commons did not directly mention the situation in Iraq but noted that “Iran is an important country in a volatile region.”
Hague rejected pro-Israel MPs criticism that the move amounted to a “softening” of the UK’s approach towards Tehran and stressed that London wanted to see a change in its foreign policy based on situation on ground.
In November 2011, Iranian Majlis passed a bill asking Ahmadinejad administration to downgrade diplomatic relations with Britain after London put further sanctions against Iran. UK closed it embassy on November 29, 2011, when thousands of Iranians staged a mass protest in front of the embassy, demanding the expulsion of UK ambassador Dominick Chilcott for his country’s putting “crippling sanctions to please Washington and Tel Aviv. Both president Dr. Ahmadinejad and his foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi were pushing to get British ambassador’s accredited by the Iranian Majlis (parliament). Chilcott left Iran in such a hurry that he left his dog behind.
There have been a string of major flare-ups in recent decades including over a fatwa issued against Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 and the seizure of 15 British sailors by an Iranian naval patrol in the northern Gulf in 2007. Israeli-born British Jewish author Gilad Atzmon praised Iran’s president Ahmadinejad for Iran’s treatment and release of the sailors.
“It’s Ahmadinejad rather than (Tony) Blair who reminds us where goodness rest,” said Ahmadinejad.
Britain appointed Ajay Sharma (Hindu) a non-resident charge d’affaires to Iran in November, 2013 restoring direct diplomatic contacts severed in 2011. Since then, Sweden has stopped representing UK’s interests in Iran. Sharma has visited Tehran five times since his appointment.
In April 2014, Sir Simon Gass, senior diplomat at UK foreign office visited Iran. Gass was British ambassador in Tehran during 2009-2011.
Talking to media representatives in Vienna on Tuesday, Iran’s deputy foreign minister Majid Takhte-Ravanchi said that exchanging ambassadors between the two countries was not on the agenda for now.