Britain Reopens Embassy in Iran as Ties Thaw

World | August 23, 2015, Sunday // 14:35
Bulgaria: Britain Reopens Embassy in Iran as Ties Thaw A convoy of diplomatic cars arrive at the British embassy in Tehran, 23 August 2015. EPA/BGNES

In a sign of thawing relations of the West with Iran Britain has reopened its embassy in Tehran on Sunday, newswires reported.

"Today's ceremony marks the end of one phase in the relationship between our two countries and the start of a new one - one that I believe offers the promise of better," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said, according to Reuters.

Pro-regime protesters ransacked the 19-th century building in November 2011 in protest against nuclear-related sanctions imposed by Britain, destroyed furniture, stole property and set fire to the main office building. Britain shut down its embassy in Tehran and asked Iran to close its embassy in London.

The attack, Hammond said, was a low point in diplomacy between London and Tehran but the relationship had gradually improved since the election of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani in 2013. Iran's ISNA news agency reported on Sunday that the Iranian Embassy in London was simultaneously reopened.

Relations between Iran and the West have rapidly warmed up after Tehran reached an agreement with six world powers on the future of its nuclear programme last month. Germany’s Vice-Chancellor, the EU’s foreign policy chief and the foreign minsters of France and Italy have paid visits to Iran since the signing of the nuclear deal.

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Tags: Britain, Iran, embassy, Tehran, London, Hammond, Rouhani, nuclear, agreement, deal
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