NEWS
27/11/2011 05:54 GMT | Updated 27/01/2012 05:12 GMT

Iran: Tehran Votes To Downgrade Diplomatic Relations With Britain

Britain's diplomatic relations with Iran are set to grow increasingly frosty after the Iranian parliament voted to downgrade relations, which could see to British Ambassador expelled from Tehran.

The move comes after the George Osborne imposed sanctions on Iranian banks on Tuesday, which forbade British institutions from doing business with their Iranian counterparts.

The sanctions follow revelations about the country's nuclear programme detailed in a recent International Atomic Energy Agency report.

According to the BBC, Iranian radio reported that some members of the Iranian parliament chanted "death to Britain" after the vote passed by an overwhelming majority.

Speaking to the AFP, House Speaker Ali Larijani warned: "The legislative branch is observing the behaviour of the British government and this is just the beginning of the road."

"This plan should be firmer and stronger against Britain," MP Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash said before the vote. "Having relations with Britain, even with one representative, is a total betrayal and we should padlock the British embassy."

Another MP threatened: "The British government should know that if they insist on their evil stances the Iranian people will punch them in the mouth, exactly as happened against America's den of spies, before it was approved by officials."

"Den of spies" is a reference to the US Embassy, which was stormed in 1979.

Should the bill pass the Guardian Council, Dominick Chilcott, the UK ambassador to Iran, will have two weeks to leave the country.

The Foreign Office reacted by calling the vote "regrettable".