Two Peers in Tehran to boost trade ties with Iran

Iran Focus: Two British trade missions have arrived here to boost London’s trade ties with the Islamic Republic, just as the British embassy continues to come under daily siege by dozens of bassijis, members of a state-organized paramilitary group. Iran Focus: Tehran, June 1 - Two British trade missions have arrived here to boost London’s trade ties with the Islamic Republic, just as the British embassy continues to come under daily siege by dozens of bassijis, members of a state-organized paramilitary group.

The delegations have held meetings with high ranking Iranian officials, businessmen and industry leaders. A trade delegation from Wales arrived in Tehran Friday, May 28, for a five-day mission. On Sunday, a mission from the London-based British Iranian Chamber of Commerce arrived here. They are scheduled to stay here up to June 4.

The missions include two British peers, Lord Lamont of Lerwick and Lord Phillips of Sudbury. Their stated aim is to encourage closer commercial and economic ties between Britain and Iran. But the visit has been marred by daily demonstrations being staged outside the British embassy in downtown Tehran. On Saturday, over 100 Basijis gathered outside the embassy, chanting 'Death to America`, 'Death to Israel`, 'Death to Britain' and calling for the closure of the embassy.

"British Embassy should be closed," they chanted. "Karbala is on top of our political agenda. We don't want relations with Britain."

There were scuffles between riot police and the angry demonstrators. Petrol bombs were thrown at the embassy in protests earlier in the week.