x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

British envoy to Iran summoned over nuclear remarks

The British ambassador is called into the Iranian foreign ministry after remarks made by the UK's foreign secretary in Abu Dhabi.

TEHRAN // The British ambassador was summoned to the Iranian foreign ministry this week over comments about Tehran's disputed nuclear work, state media said. The ambassador Geoffrey Adams was called to the ministry in protest at comments by the British foreign minister David Miliband that state radio said "tried to create differences" with Gulf states. Other state-run media also reported the summons.

It did not say when the envoy was summoned but a British diplomat said Mr Adams had gone to the ministry, at Iran's request, on Monday. The diplomat gave no details of the discussion. On Monday, Miliband urged Gulf Arab states to step up pressure on Iran over its nuclear plans by imposing financial restrictions and tightening export controls. The text of the speech was released before its delivery in Abu Dhabi.

Britain and other Western allies are at loggerheads with Iran over what they say is Tehran's covert bid to build nuclear bombs. Iran denies the charge. Last week, a British official accused Iran of failing to co-operate with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which inspects Iranian nuclear facilities. Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, says its nuclear programme is peaceful and aimed at producing electricity so that it can save more of its oil and gas for export.

Tehran says it provides access to the IAEA in line with international law and has called for civilian nuclear co-operation with regional countries. *Reuters