Iran’s foreign ministry has summoned the United Kingdom’s charge d’affaires in Tehran after British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson condemned Iran’s role in the “suffering” of Syrian people in Aleppo. According to Tasnim News Agency, the British ambassador was not in Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters that Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Western Europe affairs conveyed the Islamic Republic’s official protest to the British diplomat over Johnson’s “imprudent comments and positions regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s role in the Syrian crisis,” and warned that the consequences of such “unrealistic” remarks would be “damaging to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and international security.”

The latest diplomatic row between Tehran and London comes just days after British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned Iran’s destabilizing role in the Middle East and vowed to work closely with the Gulf states to “push back against Iran’s aggressive” actions across the region.

May’s remarks provoked angry reactions and warnings by Iranian leaders while the Iranian parliament also threatened to downgrade diplomatic ties with the United Kingdom once again. London and Tehran restored full diplomatic relations in September, almost five years after a pro-regime mob attack against the British embassy in Tehran forced Britain to recall its ambassador.

Comment: 

The latest diplomatic tension between London and Tehran is yet another reminder that the Iranian government’s efforts to encourage European countries to cultivate closer ties with the Islamic Republic will continue to face obstacles as long as the latter does not abandon its support for terrorist groups and regional proxies that threaten regional and international security and stability.