Thursday Jul 18, 201305:54 AM GMT
Iran reacts to remarks by British foreign secretary on Iran-UK ties
A file photo of an entrance to the Iranian Foreign Ministry building in Tehran
A file photo of an entrance to the Iranian Foreign Ministry building in Tehran
Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:44AM
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Addressing the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee in the British capital, London, on Wednesday, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain was ready to improve its relations with Iran ‘on a step-by-step basis.’”

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Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi says Tehran pursues a policy of expanding relations with all European Union (EU) countries, including the UK, based on mutual interests and respect.


Araqchi’s comments came in response to earlier remarks by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague on the British government’s willingness to improve ties with Iran.

Addressing the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee in the British capital, London, on Wednesday, Hague had said Britain was ready to improve its relations with Iran “on a step-by-step basis.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman referred to statements by Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani about the enhancement of ties with other countries and said Iran’s foreign policy is to “enhance all-out relations with all EU member states, including Britain” based on “mutual cooperation and respect.”

“The president-elect has stressed constructive interaction with the world on an equal footing and based on mutual interests and respect as well as the removal of tensions and reciprocal confidence-building,” Araqchi said.

The Iranian official added that the Islamic Republic will reciprocate “positive steps marked by goodwill.”

Earlier on July 4, former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw welcomed the election of Rohani as Iran’s new president and said, “What I have been urging the government is that we do our best to reengage with Iranians, because there is a chance now that we can.” He also expressed willingness to travel to Iran to help restore Tehran-London ties.

Rohani won Iran’s June 14 presidential election with 18,613,329 votes, or 50.7 percent of a total of 36,704,156 ballots counted.

The Iranian president-elect has pledged to seek “constructive interaction” with the world through a moderate policy.

AR/NN/HJL
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