Major relief: UK foreign secretary says Iran taking ‘more nuanced’ approach to Israel

Major relief: UK foreign secretary says Iran taking ‘more nuanced’ approach to Israel

[Ed. – Perhaps “annihilation” is a more measured vision for Israel’s future than some expressed by Iranian leaders in the past.]

Britain will “tread carefully” as it rebuilds relations with Iran, but the countries need to work together to tackle problems like Islamic State, Philip Hammond has said. …

It [ is better for the two countries] to engage with each other, and in time Iran could play “a more measured and more responsible” role in the Middle East, he said. …

Hammond said that the two countries had a shared interest in matters such as tackling Isis and the opium trade.

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He also questioned whether Iran was really committed to destroying Israel. When it was put to him that this was Iranian policy, he said that that was the position of Rouhani’s predecessor and Rouhani had a “more nuanced approach”.

When challenged about Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also calling for death to Israel, Hammond said this rhetoric might not reflect Iran’s real intentions. “We’ve got to distinguish between revolutionary sloganising and what Iran actually does in the conduct of its foreign policy,” he said. “We’ve got to, as we do with quite a number of countries, distinguish the internal political consumption rhetoric from the reality of the way they conduct their foreign policy.”

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