British ambassador to Tehran summoned over Blair comments
TEHRAN (AFP) Nov 02, 2003
Iran's foreign ministry said Sunday it had summoned Britain's ambassador to Tehran over comments made by Tony Blair, in which the prime minister said the Islamic republic's climbdown over nuclear cooperation was a direct result of the war in Iraq.

The state news agency IRNA said the ministry had told British Ambassador Richard Dalton that Blair's comments were "illogical".

The Iranian foreign ministry's Director General of Western European Affairs, Ebrahim Rahimpur, said Blair's reported comments last Thursday were a part of his bid to "avoid questions" over the war in Iraq as well as domestic problems.

The furore was a response to reported comments by Blair that military action against Iraq had produced positive results, including greater Iranian cooperation with the international community.

In September the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had imposed an October 31 deadline on Iran to fully disclose details of its nuclear program and urged it to sign the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allowing tougher inspections by the UN watchdog.

After initially rejecting the deadline, Iran agreed to comply with IAEA demands just 10 days before the deadline expired during an unprecedented joint visit by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin and German Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer.