UK must ‘recalibrate’ its relationship with Iran – Jack Straw gives speech at USW

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The United Kingdom needs to ‘recalibrate’ its relationship with Iran, according to for Foreign Secretary the Rt Hon Jack Straw, in a speech given at the University of South Wales on Thursday (11 June) evening.

Mr Straw, who was also Home Secretary under Prime Minister Tony Blair, believes we should ask not only ‘what sort of relationship do we want with Iran’, but also, ‘what kind of Iran do we want to see’?

“At a time when the British Government has been rather widely criticised for the opacity, and passivity of much of its foreign policy, Iran is a good opportunity for us to develop an explicit and distinctive foreign policy,” said Mr Straw to an audience of students and academics at the University’s Cardiff campus on Thursday (11 June) evening.Jack Straw lecture001

Bringing up his own part in beginning negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme in 2003, negotiations which are still going on today, Mr Straw went on to explain the UK’s difficult history with Iran over the past two centuries before explaining how he believes the relationship between the two countries can begin to move forward:

“Perhaps the most difficult step, but also the most important, is to work to incorporate Iran fully into the international order. The more Iran is integrated into the international system, the more it will “open up.” Indeed, the more Iran is integrated and welcomed into the existing order, the more likely Iran will respect, and adopt international norms and ideas.”

The speech was organised by the University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences in partnership with the English Speaking Union.

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