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Straw reiterates UK disagreement with US policy towards Iran

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has reiterated that the UK government still disagrees with the US hostile policy towards Iran despite its closeness with the Bush Administration, IRNA reported from London.

"Some areas of foreign policy proposed by the government and supported by the House (of Commons), such as our approach to Iran and to Chairman Arafat, we happen to have disagreements with the United States," Straw told MPs on Monday.

The foreign secretary was responding to a question from Labor MP Jeremy Corbyn, who asked him to `declare some independence in our foreign policy rather than following George Bush from war to war`. "After five months of occupation and now an increase in the deployment of British troops in Iraq, does the foreign secretary think it is now time to reconsider the closeness of British foreign policy to that of the Bush Administration?" Corbyn asked.

The distinction between US and UK policy comes after the assistant editor of the Guardian newspaper, Simon Tinsdall, blamed Prime Minister Tony Blair personally for the recent deterioration of the UK relations with Iran.

"As over Iraq, Blair and his Downing Street machine have a habit of taking charge of the big foreign policy issues and arguably, comprehensively fouling them up," Tinsdall said.

He argued that the diplomatic dispute did not arise solely from the arrest of former Iranian Ambassador Hadi Soleimanpour in the UK, but from `Blair`s latest, clumsy foray into the delicate and complex world of international diplomacy`.

The assistant editor suggested that the `unilaterally pre-emptive transformation of British policy on Iran` was sealed by the prime minister `during a private Downing Street dinner with Israel`s Ariel Sharon in July`.

... Payvand News - 9/9/03 ... --

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