Iran denounces British FM Hammond’s ‘unconstructive’ remarks

Marzieh Afkham

Iran’s policy toward its neighbors is based on ensuring collective interests, strengthening friendship and peaceful coexistence with an emphasis on religious commonalities, said Afkham.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham dismissed the recent remarks by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond as “unconstructive”, saying that such comments are part of continued moves to cast doubt on Iran’s relations with its neighbors.

Speaking to Tasnim News Agency on Friday, Afkham lashed out at Hammond for his recent remarks in a joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart, emphasizing that such statements are divisive.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s policy toward its neighbors is based on ensuring collective interests, strengthening friendship and peaceful coexistence with an emphasis on religious commonalities,” she said.

Countries outside the region had better avoid raising false and divisive issues through their words and deeds, she added.

Afkham also made it clear that the opening of the Iranian and British embassies in London and Tehran does not mean Iran will not oppose Britain’s regional policies.

In a joint press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in London on Wednesday, Hammond said he had reassured al-Jubeir that the reopening of British embassy in Iran does not imply London will relax pressure on Tehran to stop what he called interfering in other Middle Eastern countries’ affairs.

Hammond was in Tehran on August 23 to reopen the British embassy in the Iranian capital after a 4-year closure.

Simultaneously, Iran’s embassy in London resumed its diplomatic activities.

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