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Iran votes to expel Britain ambassador after nuclear sanctions

 An unidentified Iranian female lawmaker walks through the parliament in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011. Iran's parliament has approved a bill to...

APTOPIX Mideast Iran Britain

An unidentified Iranian female lawmaker walks through the parliament in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011. Iran's parliament has approved a bill to...

Iran’s parliament voted on Sunday to reduce Tehran’s diplomatic relations with Britain.

The bill has now to go to the Guardians Council for approval. If passes, it will oblige the government to downgrade diplomatic ties between Iran and Britain within two weeks, forcing the ambassador Dominick Chilcott to leave the British embassy as diplomatic relations are reduced to the level of charges d’affaires.

It comes less than a week after London banned all British financial institutions from doing business with their Iranian counterparts, including the Central Bank of Iran, as part of a new wave of sanctions western countries are imposing over Tehran’s nuclear program.

In retaliation for fresh western sanctions, Iran warned that other countries could also be punished. Lawmakers said they would push to cut ties with other EU countries if, as expected, they follow London’s lead.

“The legislative branch is observing the behavior of the British government and this is just the beginning of the road,” chairman of Iranian parliament Ali Larijani said.

Some Iranian lawmakers deemed the expelling of ambassador not strong enough. “This plan should be firmer and stronger against Britain,” Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash said. “Having ties with UK, even with one representative, is a total betrayal and we should padlock British embassy.”

Britain described the vote as “regrettable,” and warned London would respond “robustly” if the threat was followed through.

“If the Iranian government acts on this, we will respond robustly in consultation with our international partners,” a Foreign Office spokesman said. “This unwarranted move will do nothing to help the regime address their growing isolation or international concerns about their nuclear program and human rights record.”

Britain and Canada have embassies in Tehran. The US does not, having closed it after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. Canada’s mission is already headed only by a charge d’affaires.


Updated : 2021-10-26 18:58 GMT+08:00