Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Fear for the Future and Other Iranians Who Live in the UK

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Fear for the Future and Other Iranians Who Live in the UK

Article excerpt

Byline: HANNAH GRAHAM Reporter

AN Iranian living in South Shields says he feels "sad and scared" as he watches the government of his mother country face off against that of his adopted home.

When Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized a British oil tanker in July, the tension already rumbling between the two countries escalated.

The ripple effects of the controversial action spread as far as South Shields, where Iranian-born Siamak Kaikavoosi is avidly watching the news from the Persian Gulf.

Siamak, 67, has been living in the North East since he left Iran as a student at the age of 19. After his studies, he returned home, but when the religious government took power following the 1979 revolution, he felt forced to leave and come back to Britain to live and work.

Now he feels more British than Iranian - but he worries that if tensions between his old home and his new one escalate, there could be repercussions for Iranian expats living in the UK.

"With deterioration of the Britain-Iran relationship, I feel sad and a bit scared in my day-to-day life," he said.

"I want people to know that most of the Iranians who have made Britain their home in the last 20 years left the country because of the circumstances created by the regime there. "The general public should know that if there is an issue between the British government and the Iranian government, it has got nothing to do with the ordinary Iranian people you might meet."

The diplomatic crisis was sparked when the UK-registered Stena Impero was detained on July 19, less than a month after Royal Marines helped authorities in Gibraltar seize the Grace 1 tanker, which was carrying Iranian oil.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has ruled out a proposed 'quid pro quo' involving exchanging the seized tanker for Grace 1, which Britain insists was legally intercepted for violating EU oil sanctions on Syria. …

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