Britain regrets Iranian law to expel envoy: PM's spokesman

28th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain regrets an Iranian parliamentary bill demanding the expulsion of its ambassador to Tehran and is considering its next steps, Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said Monday.

Iranian lawmakers voted on Sunday to expel the British ambassador within two weeks and Iran's Guardians Council approved the move on Monday, making it law, state television's website reported.

"Clearly we regret their decision to expel our ambassador. I think that decision will do nothing to help the Iranian regime address its growing isolation from the international community," Cameron's spokesman told reporters.

"We will think about precisely how we should respond but there will be a meeting of EU heads of mission in Tehran today to discuss that and there will be further discussions on Thursday at the (European Union) foreign affairs council."

Britain's Foreign Office on Sunday promised that it would respond "robustly" if ambassador Dominick Chilcott is expelled.

In response to Western sanctions on Iran, lawmakers there have voted to downgrade diplomatic ties with Britain to the more junior charge d'affaires level, and for trade and financial ties to be reduced to a minimum.

It also contains a clause warning that other countries could also be punished if they followed Britain's lead, in particular London's announcement it was "ceasing all contact" between its financial system and that of Iran.

© 2011 AFP

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