Jews in UK Protest Reopening Tehran Embassy

Sir Mick Davis, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) umbrella organization of Jewish communal groups in the UK, on Wednesday criticized the reopening of the British embassy in Tehran on Sunday.

"For a long time Iran has been a destabilizing influence across the Middle East. With the ink barely dry on the recent nuclear deal, it cannot be ignored that Iran has shown no sign of changing its behavior. Indeed, it is continuing its violent rhetoric unabated," said Davis.

His comment on violent rhetoric comes after a senior Iranian official on Tuesday said, "our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan."

“Britain must continue to stand tall against Islamic extremism and Jihadism in all its forms and be vigilant about the threat that the current Iranian regime continues to pose to both Israel and the world," concluded Davis.

On Sunday British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visited Tehran to inaugurate the reopening the embassy; Iran did not bother to erase or even cover up graffiti reading "death to England" at several locations in the embassy, including right above a portrait of Queen Elizabeth.

After the UK conformed with UN nuclear sanctions on Iran the embassy was stormed in 2011 by protesters backed by the Iranian government, a suspicion strengthened by the participation of Basij paramilitary forces that are under the auspices of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Ties collapsed between the two states, but with the nuclear deal sealed last month the UK rushed to restore the embassy, even though the countries have yet to exchange ambassadors.

Just before meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday, Hammond acknowledged there are no guarantees the Islamic regime won't seek nuclear weapons in the future.

However, he said, "you have to make a judgement. My judgement is that whatever Iran has or hasn't been doing in the past, the regime, the Iranian people, have come to the conclusion that pursuing, or being believed to pursue, an illegal military nuclear program just imposes too great a cost on Iran."

Not isolating Iran via the deal, which gives it hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief, is "the best bet for the future," he added.

Rouhani just this Saturday vowed to breach the deal's limitations on weapons and rocket trade, and Iran has likewise promised to flout the deal further by holding ballistic missile tests.


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