UK, Iran leaders meet for the first time after Khomeini's 1979 Islamic Revolution

25 September 2014

UK prime minister David Cameron met  Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in New York yesterday, which is seen as a milestone in the long-strained relations between the two countries, The Guardian reported.

The meeting, as the two leaders attended the UN general assembly, comes as the first encounter between an Iranian president and a British prime minister since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

According to Rouhani's deputy, Hamid Abutalebi, the meeting would prepare the ground for ''fundamental changes'' in the relationship between Iran and the EU.

He added, it would bring fundamental changes to Iran-EU relations as also the nuclear negotiations, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

It would be one of the biggest achievements of Dr Rouhani's visit to New York and it would also have an effect on Tehran-London relations.

However, Keyhan, an ultra-conservative Iranian newspaper whose director is appointed directly by the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in an editorial yesterday cautioned Rouhani about his meetings and also potential agreement with the west over Tehran's nuclear programme.

The piece reminded readers that the US and ''England'' as the UK is usually called in the Iranian press supported Baghdad in the eight-year war between Iraq and Iran in the '80s, and still imposed sanctions on Tehran.

''The world's imperialist faction [a familiar reference to Britain and the US] is aiming to bring the powerful and revolutionary Iran to its knees,'' the article said.

Meanwhile, Cameron said that UK would launch air strikes on the ''psychopathic, murderous, brutal'' jihadist extremists waging war in Iraq, The Telegraph reported.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, he urged the public not to be ''frozen with fear'' over the prospect of military action in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq war.

According to commentators, a bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) could start as soon as tomorrow night after Cameron recalled Parliament to vote on military action.

Labour leader, Ed Miliband announced his party's support to Cameron in the Commons on the issue.

Cameron used his speech to outline plans to ''destroy'' the terrorists, whom he said posed a ''clear and present danger to the United Kingdom''.

He warned however, that the involvement of the UK in the conflict could last a ''long time''.

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