Warming up of Anglo – Iranian Relations in a Changing Middle East

Warming up of Anglo – Iranian Relations in a Changing Middle East

The British government, first under the Labour administration, and then the Conservatives slipping conspicuously towards the United States’ position, now advocating unilateral sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programme. “Britain is prepared to impost unilateral sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programme,”(4) became the United Kingdom’s policy towards Iran, until the new nuclear negotiations began between Iran and the West in 2013. Needless to mention, as a reminder, that, it was the United Kingdom government who together with France, and Germany took the lead on behalf of the EU, to mediate in order to find a solution to the nuclear issue, between Iran and the west. None the less the United Kingdom sees its overall interests, as has been pointed out, in the context of the Anglo-American “Special Relationship”. On a different front however, the by-products of deteriorating relations between Tehran and London which are less substantive to mention here, exacerbated the Anglo-Iranian relations.
As direct talks began between the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the West (the United States) in 2013, considerable warming up in the Anglo-Iranian relations also became evident. Though there was no breakup of diplomatic relation this time, but it was at its lowest point. However, the speedy patch up of the diplomatic relation between Iran, and the UK, has led to a nearly full diplomatic contact, which could be conducive to a changing Middle East.
The Middle East is in flux. Iran throughout the Middle East carries considerable political influence, and weight. Iran as a Key strategic power in the Middle East can help to bring about stability, and security in the region. The Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Syria, to name a few, could all benefit from the traditional strategic role of Iran in a changing Middle East.
Warming up of Anglo-Iranian relations, first signifies that the West, and particularly so, the United States have eventually come to realize that accommodation rather than isolation will be the key to stability in the Middle East. Thus, negotiation rather than confrontation should be order of the day with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Secondly, warming up of an Anglo-Iranian relation could help the West to untie the ever so tight knot so to speak in the age of economic globalization, and free trade, which requires political stability.
A Tehran-London détente at this point, not only will be conducive to the Middle East, but in view of what has just been said in this article, could also bring about détente in Iran-West relations.
Key Words: Anglo – Iranian Relations, Changing Middle East, Anglo-American “Special Relationship”, Moussavizadeh

Notes:
(1) For more detail see A-R. Moussavizadeh, The Anglo-American “Special Nuclear Relationship” (The Centre for Strategic Research, 2003), Tehran.
(2) Ibid.
(3) United Kingdom – Iran Foreign Relations, speech by the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Common Wealth Affairs in the House of Commons, February, 2009.
(4) Bill Rammell, the British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 2010.

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