British FM objects foreign interference in Iranian politics
British Foreign Minister, Jack Straw on Tuesday warned other nations against interfering in Iranian politics. Nothing would derail moves towards greater democracy within Iran than suggestions the internal opposition was being orchestrated by other nations, he said.
Straw's comments came after US President George Bush praised anti-government protests in the Iranian capital Iran.
Students in Iran have staged a seventh consecutive night of anti-government protests. But reports from Tehran University said early Tuesday's protests were smaller and less intense than the previous six nights.
In another issue, Iran has confirmed that it will not sign up to tougher, short-notice inspections of suspected nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA). On his part, Straw has joined other European leaders in saying Tehran should comply with the measures "urgently and unconditionally".
The British minister told the BBC that "constructive and conditional" engagement was the best approach to Iran.
He noted Iran was not a totalitarian power, with religious leaders forming part of the opposition and a major demographic change pushing towards more liberalism and economic reform.
"Given the long history of Iran, they have to be allowed to sort out their opposition internally," said Straw.
"And the thing that would most derail the establishment of better democracy in Iran would be the suggestion that the opposition there was being orchestrated from Iran, which happily so far it has not been." (Albawaba.com)
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