Contrary to remarks made by visiting UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond an Iranian official denied on Tuesday that his government's policy towards Israel has changed and said that the Zionist regime should be annihilated. "Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan," the Iranian Parliament Speaker's Adviser for International Affairs Hossein Sheikholeslam was quoted as saying by Iran's Fars news agency.
After opening the British Embassy in Tehran, the British foreign secretary said the Iranian government had displayed a more nuanced approach than its predecessor to a long-running conflict with Israel, adding that Tehran would be judged on its actions, not its words. "What we're looking for is behavior from Iran, not only towards Israel but towards other players in the region, that slowly rebuilds their sense that Iran is not a threat to them," Hammond said. Sheikholeslam also cited and dismissed a statement Hammond made on his Tehran visit in which he said that past hostilities between Iran and the UK should be forgotten, Fars reported. "Tehran will never forget the past and Britain's colonialist moves," Sheikholeslam said. The British embassy was opened nearly four years after it was stormed by protesters. Reuters contributed to this report.
Britain reopens embassy in Tehran