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January 15, 2023 11:09 am

UK Recalls Envoy from Iran, Reconsidering Nuclear Deal Support after Execution

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avatar by i24 News

Britain’s Conservative MP Rishi Sunak walks next to his campaign headquarters in London, Britain, October 24, 2022. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

i24 NewsThe United Kingdom is temporarily withdrawing its ambassador to Iran for consultations, and has summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires following the execution of British-Iranian dual national Alireza Akbari.

“We are sending today a clear message to the Iranian regime that we are watching closely what they do. We will respond robustly to any actions that they take,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said while announcing the new retaliatory measures, which also includes a travel ban and asset freeze on the Iranian Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri.

It was also reported Sunday in British daily newspaper The Telegraph that London is reconsidering its support for the Iran nuclear deal.

Senior Whitehall sources said the “context” had changed significantly since the negotiation process began, and as a result Britain was currently reviewing its options regarding future involvement in the talks.

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“Since the negotiations resumed, the context has completely changed, largely due to the behavior of the Iranian regime,” said a government source, noting that relations with Tehran had been strained in recent months due to its policy of brutal repression of internal demonstrations against the regime.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak himself reacted to the execution of Akbari, accusing Iran of a “ruthless and cowardly act, perpetrated by a barbaric regime with no respect for the rights of its own people.”

Akbari once served as Iran’s deputy defense minister. He was given the death sentence on charges of spying for Britain. Iranian state media said that Akbari played a role in the 2020 assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, which authorities blamed on Israel.

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