The British government is adopting a cautious diplomatic approach towards peacefully resolving disputes with Iran that has the support of US, according Foreign Office Minister Lord Triesman.
"Cutting links with Iran will do nothing to advance those objectives. The United States, which has no contacts with Iran, continues to urge us to maintain our contacts with Iran to try to keep some dialogue going," Triesman said.
"These are difficult circumstances and we must all in the Security Council work together for a peaceful resolution of those issues before the situation spills into a worse one," he said during a brief debate in the House of Lords Tuesday.
The debate on recent comments made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Israel was raised by Labour peer, Lord Corbett, a renowned supporter of the Mujahiden-e Khalq terrorist group, who urged the UK government to treat the outlawed group as a "friend." But the Foreign Office minister rejected the call, saying that the MKO was proscribed under the country’s Terrorism Act 2000 and that the government had "no plans to carry out such a review."
"Its claims to be a democratic party, fighting for a better Iran, are hard to square with its history of violence and authoritarian acts," he said.
A similar call made by Conservative MP Brian Binley, a self- confessed paid supporter of the MKO’s front-group, the so-called National Council of Resistance, was also rejected by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in the House of Commons Tuesday.
Triesman said the MKO has "a long history of involvement in terrorism in Iran and elsewhere and is, by its own admission, responsible for violent attacks that have resulted in many deaths." He admitted that relations with Iran was "difficult" that there was no "quick or easy resolution," but emphasized that "all means" must be deployed to keep lines of communications open.
"When one looks at the range of options before us, it is a matter of building carefully with those who are our friends in Iran, who are part of the future of Iran, and not finding ourselves in an escalating position where the steps that we take generate more conflict, rather than making an attempt to resolve matters by peaceful and diplomatic means," Triesman told his fellow peers.
London, Nov 2