Press TV has conducted an interview with Mohammad Marandi, a professor at the University of Tehran, about Iran-Britain relations. The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV:†First of all, tell us you are seeing this announcement whether this means Iran in terms of foreign relations is actually taking a fresh step?
Marandi:†I think it is an important move although relations with the United Kingdom obviously will not be normalized any time soon. I think what is important to recall, the problem that exists between Iran and England is based upon the policy of England to support comprehensive sanctions against Iran.
England within the EU has lobbied and almost bullied out European nations into accepting comprehensive sanctions against this country to prevent these countries from importing oil from Iran and from excluding Iranian banks from being able to transact anywhere in the EU.
So, some of the difficulties that ordinary Iranians have gone through, for example, importing very important medicines that have led to the deaths of some Iranians, are due to British policy.
Press TV:†You raised an important point there, the fact that Britain has been supporting the sanctions that have been affecting ordinary Iranians when it comes to medical supplies and also sanctions on Iranís oil trade.
Do you think that when William Hague says we are starting negotiations or we are attempting to restore relations that this means when the UK wants to restore relations with Iran that it has to discontinue this policy of supporting the sanctions, or do you think that the policies towards Iran are not going to change?
Marandi:†Well, that remains to be seen. I think the United Kingdom obviously wants to restore relations with Iran and wants to have an ambassador in the country, but at the same time it recognizes that Iranians are outraged at the sort of behavior the British have been showing towards ordinary Iranians.
And we also must recall that the current British government is the same government that tried to encourage the British parliament to support strikes on Syria.
So, the United Kingdom is not known for its benign and friendly relations with nations in this region - The fact that the British have hurt ordinary Iranians; the fact that the British government intended to bomb Syria alongside the United State doesnít show it as a supporter of human rights or of mutual friendship.
But at the same time, I think the Europeans and even the United States do recognize that this region is becoming more dangerous and more unstable and that the only country in this region that has remained completely stable and strong is the Islamic Republic of Iran.
And because of their (United Kingdom) policies of supporting terrorist organizations and sanctions and supporting dictatorships in this region, we come to this situation.
And I think they recognize that in order to rectify the situation they need better relations with Iran, but Iím not sure they have the political will to really change their attitude towards Iran at this stage.