Sunday, January 03, 2010

Iran rejects Kerry visit

We can breathe a sigh of relief. Iran would certainly have achieved a propaganda victory. And that's just the best-case scenario:
Iranian legislators on Sunday rejected a request filed by Head of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry for paying a visit to Iran.

"Members of the Iranian parliament's Foreign Relations Committee (a subcommittee of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission) voiced opposition to the request after studying the issue," Head of the Committee Hassan Ebrahimi told FNA.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast last week confirmed reports that John Kerry has filed a request for visiting Tehran.

"Since it (the request) is for a parliamentary visit, the issue has been referred to the parliament. The legislative officials are studying the case and they are in charge for providing a response," Mehman-Parast said at a weekly press conference here in Tehran on Tuesday. [...]

Last Tuesday Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani advised Senator Kerry to end the United States' hostile policies towards the Islamic Republic, particularly regarding the nuclear issue, instead of paying a visit to the country.
Also at Fars News, a headline proclaims "Iran Mulling Measures to Downgrade Ties with Britain":
Iranian lawmakers are discussing ways to lower Tehran's relations with Britain following London's interference in Iran's domestic affairs, announced a member of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission on Sunday.

"The issue was discussed, and the view followed by the national security commission calls for a downgrading of relations with the country (Britain) to the level of charge d'affaires," commission member Mehdi Sanaei told FNA.

Iran has repeatedly accused the West of stoking post-election unrests, singling out Britain and the US for meddling, and expelled two British diplomats and arrested a number of local staffs of British embassy in Tehran after documents and evidence substantiated London's interfering role in stirring post-election riots in Iran.

British embassy's local staff in Tehran Hossein Rassam, who was charged with spying, admitted cultivating networks of contacts in the opposition movement using a £300,000 budget.

He also confessed that the local staff of the embassy had attended protests against June's presidential election results along with two British diplomats, named in court as Tom Burn and Paul Blemey, and that he had attended meetings with the defeated opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi alongside Burn.

Also following Britain's support for a group of wild demonstrators who disrespected Islamic sanctities and damaged private and public amenities and properties in Tehran last Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki blasted London's anti-Islamic Republic policies and warned the country against similar measures in future.

"These insults began when the British brought certain people like Salman Rushdi to the scene and draw insulting caricatures and wrote insulting words against Islamic sanctities," Mottaki said in the city of Bandar Gaz in northern Iran on Friday. [...]
I believe "insulting caricatures" refers to the Jyllands-Posten cartoons. Britain was behind that? That depends on whom Iran is attacking at the time, I guess.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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