News ID: 206071
Published: 0407 GMT December 12, 2017

UK foreign secretary asked Iran to release spies: MP

UK foreign secretary asked Iran to release spies: MP

Spokesperson for the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has asked Tehran to release two spies jailed in Iran.

Naqavi Hosseini pointed to Johnson’s recent visit to Iran and said, “One of the problems that we face in receiving European delegations is that they make irrational requests from the Iranian side,” Tasnim News Agency reported.

Some of the requests made by European delegations traveling to Iran are regarded as interference in the internal affairs of the country, the lawmaker added.

Johnson has asked Iran to free two British spies, Naqavi Hosseini said, stressing that the issue has not been raised in the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee but if it is raised, the committee will oppose the request.

The British top diplomat recently made an official trip to Iran as part of efforts to improve Tehran-London relations.

Iran-Britain ties soured in 2011. On November 27, 2011, a large majority of Iranian lawmakers voted to downgrade diplomatic ties with Britain, following Britain’s decision to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran.

Later, angry Iranian students stormed the British Embassy in Tehran and pulled down the European country’s flag.

Following the incident, Britain withdrew its diplomatic staff from Tehran on November 30, 2011, and asked Iran’s diplomatic delegation in London to leave within 48 hours.

The two countries made diplomatic efforts afterward to amend ties.

The thaw in Tehran-London relations came after finalization of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany).

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