Iran lawmakers mull expelling British ambassador

23rd November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Iranian lawmakers voted Wednesday to consider expelling Britain's ambassador in retaliation for newly imposed Western sanctions, said the parliamentary website.

The parliament introduced an emergency bill to be voted on Sunday that would see diplomatic relations downgraded to the more junior level of charge d'affaires if passed, the website reported.

Several lawmakers cried "Death to Britain" as the bill was adopted with 162 votes. Five deputies voted against.

The head of the parliamentary committee on foreign policy and national security, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said he was seeking "to expel the British ambassador from the country."

Britain on Monday, in coordination with the United States and Canada, announced new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, after a report by the UN atomic energy watchdog this month suggesting Tehran was researching nuclear weapons.

Britain, which hosts the world's biggest financial market in the City of London, said it was "ceasing all contact" between its financial system and that of Iran.

Britain and Canada have embassies in Tehran. The United States does not, having closed it after Islamic students took its diplomats hostage in 1979 following Iran's revolution.

Iran has said the new sanctions will prove ineffective. It insists its nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful, civilian ends.

© 2011 AFP

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