British embassy staff families begin leaving Tehran as Iran weighs reassessment of ties

Monday, June 22, the influential Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani proposed a foreign ministry review of Iran’s relations with Britain over its “interference in Iran’s recent post-election unrest,” according to state media.
A Foreign Office spokesman then announced: “The ongoing violence has had a significant impact on the families of our staff who have been unable to carry on their lives as normal. As a result, we are withdrawing dependents of embassy staff until the situation improves.”
Sunday, June 21, two high Iranian officials slammed the UK and the BBC’s Tehran correspondent was given 24 hours to leave.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the US and Britain of “interfering in the Islamic Republic’s internal affairs.” At a meeting with clerics and scholars, he warned: “Definitely by hasty remarks you will not be placed in the circle of friendship with the Iranian nation. Therefore I advise you to correct your interfering stances.”
Foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki blamed Britain for interfering in the elections, saying it had been planning steps against the vote for more than a year.
“We witnessed an influx of people from the UK ahead of the election,” he said, drawing a flat denial from UK foreign secretary David Miliband, who accused Mottaki of trying to turn an internal dispute into a battle between Iran and other countries. Last Friday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described Britain as “the most treacherous” of Iran’s enemies.

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