12/02/2011

Cleric Cautions EU to Stay Away from US, British Policies on Iran


TEHRAN (FNA)- Tehran's provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami cautioned the European nations against compliance with the US and Britain's policies against Iran, saying Washington and London's animosity towards Tehran would produce no result but damage to the West.

Addressing a large congregation of worshippers on Tehran University Campus on Friday, Khatami warned the European countries that the US and Britain intend to reduce their losses in their confrontation with Iran by distributing the losses and damage among a more number of countries.
"If you are wise, you will not tie your rope with the worn-out rope of the British," he said, cautioning that the British have no place in Iran and the Muslim world.
He further praised the Iranian parliament's approval a few days ago on lowering relations with Britain, and said London must have been punished for its continued animosities towards Iran in the last 100 years, specially in the post-revolution era in Iran.
The Iranian legislators in an open session of the parliament on Sunday approved the bill of a law on downgrading relations with Britain with 179 yes votes, 4 oppositions and 11 abstentions. The 4 oppositions demanded a full cut of ties with London.
The cleric further reminded Britain's main role in stirring unrests in Tehran after the presidential elections in June 2009, and said London insists on continuing hostility towards Iran unabatedly.
Iran has repeatedly accused the West of stoking post-election unrests, singling out Britain and the US for meddling. Tehran expelled two British diplomats and arrested a number of local staffs of the British embassy in Tehran after documents and evidence substantiated London's interfering role in stirring post-election unrests in Iran in 2009.
Khatami further cited the recent sanctions by the US, Canada and Britain against Iran's banking and energy sector outside the framework of the UN Security Council as among the latest hostile measures adopted by London towards Iran.
Yet, he reminded that such embargos are ineffective, "as we do not have such a considerable level of ties with the US or England that their sanction on the Central Bank could produce any effect on us".
The US and Britain targeted Iranian financial sectors with new punitive measures, including sanctions on Iran's Central Bank and petrochemical industry.
The sanction against CBI and Iran's petrochemical industry was adopted in a unilateral move by the US, Canada and Britain outside the UN Security Council as other council members, specially Russia and China, had earlier warned against any fresh punitive measure, including sanctions, against Iran.
The British government has also embarked on delisting the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from its list of terrorist groups.
The Iranian lawmakers initially started drafting a bill to downgrade ties with London after Britain's direct involvement in stirring post-election unrests in Iran in 2009, but they intensified and accelerated the move after former British Envoy to Tehran Simon Gass criticized the human rights situation in Iran.
"Today, International Human Rights Day is highlighting the cases of those people around the world who stand up for the rights of others - the lawyers, journalists and NGO workers who place themselves at risk to defend their countrymen," Gass said in a memo published by the British Embassy in Tehran on December 9.
"Nowhere are they under greater threat than in Iran. Since last year human rights defenders have been harassed and imprisoned," Gass added.
Following Britain's support for a group of wild demonstrators who disrespected Islamic sanctities and damaged private and public amenities and properties in Tehran on December 27, 2009, members of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission drafted bill of a law requiring the country's Foreign Ministry to cut relations with Britain completely.
The British government's blatant stance and repeated remarks in support of the last year unrests inside Iran and London's espionage operations and financial and media support for the opposition groups are among the reasons mentioned in the bill for cutting ties with Britain.