UK concerned with Putin’s return to Kremlin

Text of report by state-run Iranian TV news channel

[Presenter]: Return of [Vladimir] Putin to the Kremlin has made the UK more concerned than ever. Following the recent scandal of UK espionage in Russia, the intelligence-security war between London and Moscow has entered a new round.

[Correspondent-read report] Why has the victory of Vladimir Putin in the Russian presidential election made the UK more concerned than ever? This footage shows that the BBC Two was looking for election rigging by Putin during the Russian presidential elections [the footage showed a man travelling in a car]. Following Putin’s victory in the recent elections, which faced with protests by a number of voters, damaging of the image of Iron Man of the Kremlin and terming the election unfair was put on British media’s agenda, particularly the BBC. Coming to power of Putin has made the UK government more worried as the new Russian president is a former official of this country’s intelligence organization, which is also reminiscent of the bitter memory of the UK’s last espionage scandal in Moscow. During that incident, a fake rock equipped with a tapping system, which belonged to the UK, was discovered near one of the important government buildings in Moscow. Highly classified information would be transmitted to London by a British spy posted at the UK embassy in Moscow. [The footage shows a British man, presumably an official saying] "The UK has made a fool of herself with the spy rock." Simultaneous to the spy rock in 2006, Toni Blair the then UK prime minister said [Blair’s remark is superimposed with a voice-over in Persian]: "We cannot comment on intelligence affairs unless it is in our favour". For this reason, Vladimir Putin commented on the UK saying [Putin’s remark is superimposed with a voice-over in Persian]:" The UK has forgotten that they are no colonial power any more. Their remarks are insulting, which shows that they still live in the last century. They need to respect us so that we could respect them."

[Correspondent] Considering the records of UK espionage activities and Putin’s experiences, it is quite unlikely that the scale of espionage activities between the two countries will be lessened during the next six years of Putin’s presidency.

Source: Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, Tehran, in Persian 0238gmt 08 Mar 12

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