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Envoy Describes Jeremy Hunt’s Iran Policy as Abject Failure

TEHRAN Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad strongly criticized UK's former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt for weak performance as a top diplomat, who according to Baeidinejad escalated tensions and further complicated the case of an Iranian-British spy detained in Iran.

During Foreign Secretary Hunt's tenure, the UK's Iran policy was an abject failure; increasing tension and culminating in confrontation in the Persian Gulf after the UK's illegal confiscation of the Iranian oil tanker, Baeidinejad tweeted on Saturday, referring to the British forces' detention of an Iranian oil tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Major efforts (are) needed to de-escalate, and to move toward better understanding, the Iranian envoy added, calling for diplomatic efforts to ease the tensions between Tehran and London.

Baeidinejad then touched upon the case of an Iranian-British spy Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, hinting that Hunt's policies even prolonged the spy's release.

Mr. Hunt also wasn't able to help Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe's release, as he confused his role as a diplomat with that of a politician whose rhetoric is designed to satisfy the public. Had he continued the diplomacy his predecessor started, her case might've been resolved, he said.

Early in this month, during the Hunt's tenure as the top British diplomat, the UK seized an Iranian supertanker for allegedly violating unilateral European Union (EU) sanctions.

While Tehran denied that the supertanker was bound for Syria, it condemned the seizure as maritime piracy and warned that the move would not go unanswered.

Later, Spain said the UK had taken the action at the request of the United States.

Last Friday Iran impounded a British tanker for failing to respect international maritime rules.

Last Saturday, local outlets reported that the British government was drawing up plans to target Iran with sanctions in response to the Islamic Republic's detainment of the British tanker.

Hunt was expected to use a House of Commons statement to announce a package of diplomatic and economic measures, including possible asset freezes.

Meanwhile, Richard Burgon, member of the British opposition Labour Party, suggested that Britain had to resist serving the United States in reaction to the Islamic Republic's capture of the British vessel.

British officials should not become the messengers or sidekicks for US President Donald Trump over Iran's seizure of the UK-flagged tanker, he said.

I think we can play a very positive role in this... Our role is to speak up for conflict resolution, de-escalation, the nuclear deal, Burgon said, adding, But what we don't want to do is end up being the messengers or sidekicks of Donald Trump.

Source: Fars News Agency