12/02/2011

Hungary Rebuffs British Request for Recalling Ambassador from Iran


TEHRAN (FNA)- Hungary refused a British request from an EU Foreign Ministers meeting to recall their ambassadors from Iran.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said his country would not to follow Britain in recalling its ambassador from Iran, adding that such a move would cripple normal day-to-day operations at its embassy in Tehran.
Following a meeting of EU foreign ministers, Martonyi said after Iranian students occupied the British embassy in Tehran for two hours on Tuesday night, a number of EU countries have recalled their ambassadors from Tehran, but only for consultation.
That measure does not affect embassies with a large staff so seriously in terms of general operations, Martonyi added.
The foreign minister said that Hungary would closely monitor developments in Iran, but it would not recall its top envoy from Tehran.
His remarks came after thousands of angry students on Tuesday raided and occupied the British embassy in Tehran in a self-driven protest at London's hostile policies against Iran, calling for a full cut in relations between the two countries.
The Iranian legislators in an open session of the parliament on Sunday had 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.
As the parliament approval called for downgrading ambassadorial ties with Britain to the level of charge d'affaires, Tehran was preparing to expel the British Ambassador to Iran Dominick Chilcott. Yet it didn't mean a full cut of relations with London which was strongly demanded by the students.
The developments in Tehran came a week after 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.
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 riots in Iran.