LONDON (Dispatches) -- Britain's Royal Mail has confirmed suspending mail delivery services to recipient addresses in Iran, citing Washington’s sanctions against the country.
The mail service said that services had already been suspended for the last two weeks and that any remaining parcel in Britain would be returned to the original sender.
Following the announcement, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Hamid Baeidinejad said that the matter had been followed up with related British authorities, adding that a letter of protest had been sent to the UK’s Foreign Office.
He said that British authorities had promised to resolve the issue as soon as possible, requesting that they be given "until Monday” to address the problem.
Baeidinejad also said that UK authorities "were shocked” by the Royal Mail announcement.
The Iranian ambassador further stated that his mission in London itself would envision a channel to deliver parcels to Iran free of charge given that the problem persisted beyond the Monday deadline.
The suspension of mail delivery to Iran was allegedly done on the pretext of U.S. sanctions targeting Iran.
The United States President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the landmark Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement last May and renewed sanctions lifted under the agreement.
Iran has not left the deal despite Washington's measures, stressing that the remaining signatories to the agreement have to work to offset the negative impacts of the U.S. pullout for Iran if they want Tehran to remain committed.
Consequently, remaining European signatories said they planned to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which they ultimately called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) as they unveiled it earlier this year.
Ayatollah Khamenei told President Rouhani and his team eight months ago that Europe was not trustworthy and that the government should focus on Iran’s own potentials for progress.
The Europeans, however, ultimately presented INSTEX with preconditions which require Iran to join the FATF (the Financial Action Task Force) and start negotiations on its missile program, prompting senior Iranian officials to object to the plan.
Speaking earlier this week, U.S. Representative to the European Union Gordon Sondlant described the European INSTEX plan as "nothing but a paper tiger.”
"The SPVs are Europe's attempt to appease Iran by showing that they are still trying their very best to facilitate proper transfers of payments to Iran. We believe that those SPVs are really nothing more than, and I've said it before, a paper tiger," he stressed.
European powers have claimed to be committed to keeping the JCPOA alive.
On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that Paris and its European partners were pressing the Trump administration to moderate the sanctions.
The European measures have so far failed to have much effect.
Iranian officials have blamed the U.S. of waging "economic terrorism" after sanctions hampered foreign flood-relief from reaching the country amid unprecedented floods.