TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Spokesperson for the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has asked the Islamic Republic to free two spies.
Speaking to the Press Shia Agency News Agency, Naqavi Hosseini pointed to Johnson’s recent visit to Iran and said, “One of the problems that we face in receiving European delegations is that they make irrational requests from the Iranian side.”
Some of the requests made by European delegations traveling to Iran are regarded as kind of interference in the internal affairs of the country, the lawmaker added.
Johnson has asked Iran to free two British spies, Naqavi Hosseini said, stressing that the issue has not raised in the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission but if so, the commission will oppose the request.
The British top diplomat recently made an official trip to Iran as part of efforts to improve Tehran-London relations.
Iran-Britain ties soured in 2011. On November 27, 2011, a large majority of Iranian lawmakers voted to downgrade diplomatic ties with Britain, following Britain’s decision to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran.
Later, angry Iranian students stormed the British embassy in Tehran and pulled down the European country’s flag.
Following the incident, Britain withdrew its diplomatic staff from Tehran on November 30, 2011, and asked Iran’s diplomatic delegation in London to leave within 48 hours.
The two countries made diplomatic efforts afterward to amend ties.
In August 2015, the British embassy in Iran reopened after a 4-year closure. Britain’s then foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, attended a ceremony in Tehran to mark the reopening on August 23. It was the first visit by a British foreign secretary to Iran since 2003.
Simultaneously, Iran’s embassy in London also reopened.
The thaw in Tehran-London relations came after finalization of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany).