A Foreign Office spokesman described as "complete rubbish" Iranian claims that British soldiers were supporting Khalq guerrillas carrying out actions in southern Iran. 'Complete rubbish' is an accurate description of the Foreign Office's credibility. rkm -------------------------------------------------------- http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,12858,1596178,00.html Britain fears Tehran block on trade ·Tensions escalate in wake of IAEA resolution ·Officials claim British agents planted bombs Robert Tait in Ahvazn and Ewen MacAskill Thursday October 20, 2005 Guardian The Foreign Office was yesterday investigating whether the Iranian government has slapped a trade embargo on Britain as punishment for the UK's stance over Iran's nuclear programme. Diplomats in Tehran said the informal move - which has not been officially announced - appeared to be in retaliation for Britain's uncompromising stance and reflected a worsening in relations between the countries. A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are aware of indications that action has been taken against British companies but it has happened before at various times of tension, and I believe we can cope." It follows a period of heightened tension between the two countries and follows Iranian accusations that Britain was behind a series of bombings in the south of the country at the weekend. Tony Blair and other government figures have accused Iran of providing sophisticated weapons to insurgent groups that have been used to kill British troops in southern Iraq this year. The anti-British trade ban has been accompanied by other ad hoc embargoes against South Korea, the Czech Republic and Argentina. All three countries voted for a British-led resolution at last month's meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which agreed to refer Iran to the UN security council unless it suspended current nuclear activities. Britain sells about $1bn (£560m) a year in goods, mainly for the oil industry, to Iran. Iranian sales to Britain are relatively small by comparison. Iran took similar action a few years ago, according to a British official. He said it is normal for the Iranian government not to formally announce such a ban but simply to delay visas, credit deals, customs papers and take other such actions that bring trade to a standstill. The move against Britain came after calls from Iran's hardline media for a severing of links between the two countries. Gholamhossein Elham, chief of staff to the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, confirmed yesterday that worsening political ties would affect trade relations. "Political relations and views definitely have an impact on economic relations," the ISNA student news agency quoted him as saying. "Iran's political, economic and cultural relations with other countries are connected to one another and these relations have an impact on each other." The latest embargo follows a period of anti-British rhetoric from Iran. Last month demonstrators hurled petrol bombs and eggs at the British embassy compound in Tehran in anger over the IAEA resolution. There were further signs of deteriorating ties yesterday when the head of the judiciary in the southern province of Khuzestan claimed a plot by "British spies" to blow up Iran's largest oil refinery had been foiled. Sayed Khalil Akbar al-Sadat told the hardline Jomhuri Islami newspaper that the refinery in Abadan had been targeted by agents "using five Katyusha rockets with a timer on them". The report followed claims by law enforcement officials that they had defused a bomb beneath a bridge in Ahvaz, Khuzestan's capital. Ahvaz was the scene of two bombings last Saturday which killed six people. A Foreign Office spokesman described as "complete rubbish" Iranian claims that British soldiers were supporting Khalq guerrillas carrying out actions in southern Iran. Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005 -- http://cyberjournal.org "Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World" http://www.cyberjournal.org/cj/rkm/Apocalypse_and_NWO.html List archives: http://cyberjournal.org/cj/show_archives/?lists=newslog Subscribe to low-traffic list: •••@••.••• In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.