Change in UK relations not on Iran agenda

Despite a UK court ruling to lift a ban on Mojahedin Khalq terrorists, Iran has no plans to lower its diplomatic presence

Despite a UK court ruling to lift a ban on MKO terrorists, Iran says it currently has no plans to lower its diplomatic presence in Britain.

Iran’s ambassador to London briefed the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission in the Majlis on Sunday, causing members of Parliament to call on the government to reconsider the extent of relations between the two countries.

UK support for the outlawed terrorist group, the MKO and its failure to curb drug cultivation in Afghanistan were the main grievances expressed by the lawmakers.

In his weekly press conference on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hassan Qashqavi told reporters that although the Ministry respects the recommendations of the parliamentarians, it ‘currently has no such plan on its agenda’.

Iran-Britain relations ventured into troubled waters after the British government decided to grant knighthood to author Salman Rushdie, despite the publication of his controversial book, The Satanic Verses, which sparked worldwide outrage in the late 1980s.

Iran described the knighthood as ‘a blatant example of the anti-Islamism of senior British officials’. Top officials from certain Muslim countries also called on their government to sever ties with London.

In a recent move, Britain removed the banned Mujahedeen Khalq Organization (MKO) from its blacklist of terror organizations. The MKO has committed acts of aggression against both Iranian and Iraqi nationals and remains banned by the European Union and the United States.

According to the Iranian Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Britain has been provided ample evidence of MKO involvement in terrorist operations against the Iranian nation.

"They have even met with some of the victims of the MKO terrorist acts. Still, the London Appeals Court has permitted a dangerous terrorist group to operate in Britain," reads a letter by the Head of the Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi to his counterpart in the British parliament, Mike Gapes.

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