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Iran To Review Ties With Britain, State TV Reports

Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki
TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran will review ties with Britain in a dozen fields, state television quoted Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki as saying today in the latest sign of troubled relations with London.

Britain is one of the Western powers at odds with Iran over its disputed nuclear program, and has frequently been accused by Tehran of meddling in Iranian affairs and fomenting antigovernment protests -- charges it has denied.

"Iran to review ties with Britain in 12 working fields," English-language Press TV said, giving no further details.

State broadcaster IRIB quoted Mottaki as saying Iran had relations with Britain in 10 to 12 fields.

"All these fields of relations [with Britain] are under study and each field would be reviewed in accordance with the country's national interests...and at the end the government will make the final decision," Mottaki said.

Last week, Iranian media said dozens of members of parliament had put forward a proposal to cut relations with Britain.

In late December, Iran summoned the British ambassador in Tehran and Mottaki threatened Britain with a "slap in the mouth" if it did not stop interfering in Iranian affairs.

That came after British Foreign Secretary David Miliband criticised Iranian authorities over the deaths of eight people in antigovernment protests on December 27.

Iranian officials have repeatedly accused Western powers, including Britain, of stirring up street protests that erupted after the Islamic state's disputed election in June.

Iran has been convulsed by its most serious domestic unrest since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, as protests by opposition supporters against the election result have turned violent. Authorities deny opposition allegations that voting was rigged.

The United States cut relations with Tehran shortly after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed shah.