With very little fanfare, Britain has restored diplomatic relations with Iran following the recent signing of the Iran nuclear agreement.
In an interview with BBC4, British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond says current Iranian President Rouhani is taking “a more nuanced approach” towards Israel. It would appear that Iran has a different understanding of nuance from that of its Foreign Secretary. Hossein Sheikholeslam, adviser on international affairs to the Speaker of Iran’s parliament, told the Fars News Agency, “Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.”
Of course, this doesn’t deter Britain’s Conservative government any more than it does the Obama Administration. When Hammond was asked about Ayatollah Khameini’s repeated comments calling for Israel’s destruction he replied, “We’ve got to distinguish between revolutionary sloganising and what Iran actually does in the conduct of its foreign policy. We’ve got to, as we do with quite a number of countries, distinguish the internal political consumption rhetoric from the reality of the way they conduct their foreign policy.” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has pretty much said the same thing in response to the Ayatollah chanting “Death to America!” Never does it occur to Earnest that the Ayatollah actually means what he says.
Now this is the sort of thing we expect this from the Obama Administration. But one would think that Britain’s Conservative government would have more sense. But David Cameron has been every bit as enthusiastic about a nuclear agreement with Iran as President Obama and even lobbied U.S. Senators against further sanctions against Iran earlier this year. There is understandable anxiety about the possibility of the Labour Party picking Jeremy Corbyn as its leader. But the Tories are doing plenty of damage on their own with their steadfast support of the Iran nuclear deal and, by extension, President Obama.
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