British Foreign Secretary to Visit Iran Soon
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw announced Friday that he would visit Iran next week, during a tour of the Middle East to garner support for the US-led war against terrorism, reported the official Iranian news agency (IRNA).
Straw will be the first British foreign secretary to visit Iran since 1979.
"Relations (between Britain and Iran) have greatly improved during the last few years," Straw told a press conference.
The visit will form part of a diplomatic mission to the region to bolster support for international action against those believed responsible for the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington.
Straw's trip to Tehran, where he will meet senior ministers and possibly President Mohammad Khatami, will be the first leg of a whistle-stop tour of the Middle East that will also take in Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
The visit is widely seen as another indication of improving relations between Iran and the West.
News of the visit came a day after Prime Minister Tony Blair for the first time spoke by telephone with the Iranian president, said IRNA.
Tehran has condemned last week's attacks and called for an international war on terrorism, although it said Thursday it would not allow the United States to use its airspace to attack Afghanistan.
Iran has a volatile relationship with the Sunni Muslim Taliban regime, which at one point declared a holy war against the Shiite Muslims of Iran – Albawaba.com
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