Wednesday, 22 January, 2020

Britain Embassy in Tehran Reopened

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has re-opened UK embassy in Tehran officially, marking a major step in the thawing of relations between the UK and Iran.

Hammond declared the embassy open and raised the UK flag in the garden of the nineteenth-century residence in the Iranian capital.

He arrived in Tehran today morning with a delegation of business leaders for a ceremony to mark the reopening. Iran is simultaneously reopening its embassy in London.

The UK embassy was closed in 2011 after it was stormed by protesters during a demonstration against sanctions.

Mr Hammond is the first UK foreign secretary to visit Iran since 2003.

The visit comes weeks after Iran reached a deal with six world powers aimed at curbing its nuclear programme.

On arriving in Tehran, Hammond tweeted: “First British Ministerial visit since 2003. Historic moment in UK-Iran relations.”

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During his two-day visit to Iran, Philip Hammond will meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, President Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani.

Hammond will also hold talks with Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and Governor of Central Bank of Iran Valiollah Seif.

In a statement, Hammond said the reopening of each country’s embassy was a key step to improved relations.

“In the first instance, we will want to ensure that the nuclear agreement is a success, including by encouraging trade and investment once sanctions are lifted. Britain and Iran should also be ready to discuss the challenges we both face including terrorism, regional stability, the spread of ISIL in Syria and Iraq, counter-narcotics and migration.”

“This move does not mean that we agree on everything. But it is right that Britain and Iran should have a presence in each other’s countries.” he added.

The embassy in Tehran will operate with a small staff and offer a limited range of consular services at first, Hammond said. “Over the months ahead we expect to agree with the Iranians an upgrading of our respective mission leaders to full ambassador status and to be able to offer a full range of services.”

Iran’s embassy in London will also reopen concurrently at the presence of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Administrative and Financial Affairs Mehdi Danesh Yazdi in London.

The assault by student protesters on the UK Embassy and a separate diplomatic compound in Tehran in November 2011 prompted outrage and led Britain to close the embassy’s doors and withdraw all its staff from Iran.

Britain also closed the Iranian Embassy in London and ordered all Iranian diplomats to leave.

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1 Comment

  1. Gerri

    July 22, 2016 at 5:01 am

    I told my greonmdthar how you helped. She said, “bake them a cake!”

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