DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran summoned the Russian and British ambassadors on Thursday after a photo was posted on the Russian embassy’s Twitter account recalling the 1943 Tehran conference, when Iran was occupied by the powers allies, Iranian state media reported.
The photo, which outgoing Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called “extremely inappropriate,” drew criticism in Iran, with many people saying on Twitter that the aim seemed to be to remind them of a time when their country was under foreign occupation.
It showed Russian envoy Levan Dzhagaryan and British Ambassador Simon Shercliff seated where US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin sat together at the Embassy. of Russia at the 1943 strategic meeting.
Foreign Minister designate Hossein Amirabdollahian said this “shows contempt for the diplomatic etiquette and national pride of the Iranian people.”
During the meeting, the Russian ambassador said his intention to publish this photo was only a reminder of Russia’s alliance with Britain against the Nazi army during WWII “Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Political cartoons about world leaders
“There was no anti-Iranian motive behind the photo,” the statement added, according to state television.
While emphasizing the friendly relations between Iran and Russia, an official of the Iranian foreign ministry made it clear that the publication of the photograph “was not acceptable”, according to the statement.
The Russian Embassy said it did not wish to offend.
âGiven the ambiguous reaction to our photo, we would like to note that it has no anti-Iranian context. We were not going to offend the feelings of the friendly Iranian people,â he tweeted.
“The only meaning this photo has to pay tribute to the joint efforts of Allied states against Nazism during World War II. Iran is our friend and neighbor, and we will continue to strengthen relations based on mutual respect,” he said. added the Russian Embassy. .
Shercliff retweeted the comments.
The semi-official Tasnim news agency said the British envoy “regretted the misunderstanding” in the photo and said “there was no bad intention behind it”.
Iranian authorities say they see Moscow as a “strategic partner” in talks between Tehran and six powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal that Washington abandoned three years ago.
Tensions between Iran and Britain have increased following an attack last month on an oil tanker in which a Briton died. Britain blamed Tehran, which denied any involvement.
(Written by Parisa Hafezi; edited by Giles Elgood)
Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.