Iranian envoys sacked as hardliners' influence grows

Iran's ambassador to Britain, Seyed Mohammad Hossein Adeli, is among the casualties of the purge. A press spokesman for the Iranian embassy said: "The ambassador's term has been terminated after one year of serving in London."

Mr Adeli, an experienced hand who is close to Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the unsuccessful candidate in the Iranian presidential election, is returning to Tehran. The other envoys recalled to Tehran are the ambassadors to Paris, Geneva, Berlin and Kuala Lumpur.

Western diplomats and analysts in Tehran said the decision had been brewing for some time, even though it was announced days after the new Iranian president sent shock waves across the world by declaring that Israel should be "wiped off the map". The sacking of the five envoys "is of a piece with the more strident hardline foreign policy", said a Western diplomat.

Even before the election in June, the hardliners in Mr Ahmadinejad's camp had been critical of the government's handling of the nuclear negotiations with the EU. Following Mr Ahmadinejad's surprise victory, Iran caused the talks to break down by announcing the resumption of uranium conversion, a possible first step towards building a nuclear weapon.

The move heightened fears in the US, EU and Israel that Iran was working on a nuclear weapons programme. Iran insists on its right under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to pursue nuclear technology and says that its programme is purely peaceful.

The International Atomic Energy Agency will discuss later this month whether Iran has complied sufficiently with its obligations to avoid being referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, was asked in the House of Commons yesterday if the Government still ruled out discussion with Iranian opposition groups. "Regime change in Iran is not part of the policy of Her Majesty's Government, nor do I think it would be wise," he told MPs.

Iran is soon expected to name a new oil minister, which will provide further clues to the future direction of the leadership. Mr Ahmadinejad's initial choice for the post, Ali Saeedlou, then acting mayor of Tehran, was rejected by parliament because of his lack of industry experience.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?