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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Only diplomacy can resolve Iran-West row

By Wang Hui (China Daily)

15:56, December 04, 2011

The rift between Britain and Iran has snowballed into a major diplomatic storm, engulfing the two countries as well as Britain's allies in Europe and beyond.

The latest row was ignited on Tuesday after thousands of angry Iranian protesters stormed into British diplomatic compounds in Teheran. The most violent protest against the West in more than three decades set off a chain of reactions from Britain, its allies in Europe and the United States.

The relationship between Teheran and London has deteriorated steadily because of the standoff between Iran and the West over its nuclear program. An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report released on Nov 18 alleged that Iran was continuing to enhance its nuclear weapons capacity and might still be conducting secret research to develop a nuclear bomb.

The report prompted the US and the European Union, including Britain, to impose new economic sanctions on Iran. In response, Iran downgraded its diplomatic ties with Britain two days before the attack on the British diplomatic compounds.

The new sanctions against Teheran intensified anti-West sentiments in Iran, lighting the fuse of the latest row between the West and Iran. The Iranian government publicly expressed regret over the "unacceptable behavior" of the protesters. But Britain believes that the attacks could not have taken place without the backing of the Iranian authorities.

On Wednesday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague ordered the immediate closure of the Iranian embassy in London and demanded that its staff leave Britain within 48 hours. France, Germany and the Netherlands soon recalled their ambassadors for consultations, while Italy is mulling taking the same course.

Regrettably, the ongoing diplomatic row between Iran and the Western powers shows no sign of abating, pushing Iran's relationship with the West to a new low. On Thursday, the EU tightened sanctions against Iran and was considering imposing an embargo on Iranian oil. The same day, the US Senate passed harsher measures against Iran, aiming to cut off Iran's central bank from the global financial system.

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Leave your comment1 comments

  1. Name

helen at 2011-12-05203.82.94.*
As long as Iran and N Korea do not waver nor distracted from their "Total War" policies when attacked by the United States and its own axis-of-tyranny, I have no worries here.

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