Barely a week since the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond reopened the British Embassy in Iran, a Foreign Office spokesman has slammed a senior Iranian official for his country’s anti-Israel stance.
Just a week ago, Mr Hammond said Iran’s President Rouhani indicated a “more nuanced approach” to Israel, and that aggressive statements by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei should not necessarily be seen as representative of the country’s foreign policy.
Since then however a number of embarrassing responses have come directly from the Iranian regime.
According to the Iranian Tasnim News Agency, a spokesman from the Iranian Foreign Ministry rejected media reports of talks between Iran and Britain about Iran’s attitude towards the State of Israel during Hammond’s visit. She said no such talks took place, adding that “London is expected to make up for mistakes of its past policies toward Iran” through constructive interaction and mutual respect.
Reinforcing that comment, a foreign affairs adviser to Iran’s parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, was even more certain no such comments had been made. According to the Iranian Fars News Agency Hossein Sheikholeslam “blasted British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond for his interfering remarks” saying: “Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.”
Breitbart London contacted the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office for comment. A week later a spokesman responded: “We strongly condemn any suggestions that Israel should be eliminated. We similarly strongly condemn any politically or racially motivated attempts to deny or question the Holocaust, and all anti-Semitic language.”
Ali Larijani, although Iran’s parliament speaker, is no mere functionary. He is a regime strategist, not just Iran’s answer to Speaker John Bercow, or John Boehner.
He was Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from between 2005 and 2007, appointed to the position by then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a role he took over from the current President, Hassan Rouhani. In that role he was Iran’s top negotiator on issues of national security, including the nuclear program.
Larijani’s views on Israel will be hard to separate from that of the Iranian regime, as he rarely speaks out of turn. As such, those speaking in support of President Obama’s recent nuclear deal with Iran must take account of the fact such attitudes persist.
Senator Ted Cruz recognised this recently, warning the deal “will result in the United States government becoming one of the leading funders of international terrorism,” and that “those American dollars will be used to murder Americans, to murder Israelis, to murder Europeans.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP has also added his criticism of the Iran deal, as Breitbart London recently reported.
Addressing a crowd of American Senators, think-tanks and European leaders, he said: “The Iran deal is an extraordinary thing for a U.S. President to even countenance – this is still a nation who as far as I know intends to wipe Israel off the map. It looks like Obama, once again, has done an incredibly un-American thing.
“After Obama’s Presidency you can relax – your relationship with Cuba and Iran is brilliant, replacing Britain and Israel as America’s closest allies.”