Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Brown’s Britain and Iran

Before Gordon Brown came to power, Iranian leaders were expressing hopes that he would revise British policy towards Iran by distancing himself from the US policies on Iran. The wishful thinking that is becoming a part of policy making process in today’s Iran was all but shattered after Brown visited Bush at Camp David yesterday. Radio Iran in a commentary this morning said as much: “Despite earlier speculations that there would be a gradual distancing between Britain and America, Brown wants to portray the notion that London’s policies are close to those of Washington.” (live.irib.ir / 31 July 07)

Mr. Brown himself told Washington Post, the newspaper of Washington’s elite, that under his premiership Britain will remain the nation of Winston Churchill, ever ready to defend liberty and security alongside America. The new British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, in one of his first policy statements, refused to rule out the military option on Iran (even though Jack Straw had done so during Blair era).

The historically close transatlantic relation between the two allies is not the only factor determining the British policy. The memories of the 15 detained British sailors in Tehran are still fresh in everybody’s mind. And the recent reports on Iranian involvement in anti-British operations in Basra have solidified the British view of Iran as an enemy state.

It looks that London’s relationship with Washington is as strong today, and could become stronger as the crisis in the region intensifies.

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