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Iran's Parliament Votes to Reduce Ties With Britain


A general view shows Iranian parliament in an open session in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011.
Source: VOA

Iran's parliament has approved a bill to reduce diplomatic and economic ties with Britain in retaliation for fresh Western sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program.

Related Site: British Embassy in Iran

A majority of lawmakers voted Sunday to force out the British ambassador within two weeks, leaving Britain's embassy to be run by a charge d'affaires. Economic relations with London would also be reduced to a minimum.

The bill now goes to Iran's Guardians Council - a constitutional oversight body - for final approval.

Sunday's vote is seen as a reaction to British support for new U.S. efforts to pressure Tehran to halt its alleged nuclear weapons program.

Britain's government earlier this month announced coordinated sanctions with the United States and Canada against Iran. The moves came a week after a report by the U.N. atomic energy watchdog agency strongly suggesting Iran is researching nuclear weapons.

Tehran says its nuclear activities are for civilian purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

UK's response to Iran vote on expulsion of British Ambassador to Tehran

Statement published by British Embassy in Tehran - 27 November 2011

Iranian Parliament's vote to expel the British Ambassador is "regrettable".

Dominick Chilcott, British Ambassador to Tehran

Commenting on the Iranian Parliament's vote today, an FCO spokesperson said:

"The Iranian Parliament's vote to expel our Ambassador, Dominick Chilcott, is regrettable. This unwarranted move will do nothing to help the regime address their growing isolation or international concerns about their nuclear programme and human rights record.

"If the Iranian Government acts on this, we will respond robustly in consultation with our international partners."

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