British embassy in Tehran officially reopens

Published August 23rd, 2015 - 11:00 GMT

 The UK embassy to Iran has been reopened in the Iranian capital of Tehran, it was announced on Sunday.

UK Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond was present at the reopening ceremony.

Moments before the reopening ceremony on Sunday, Hammond tweeted: “Arrived in #Tehran. First British Ministerial visit since 2003. Historic moment in UK-Iran relations”.

The UK embassy in Tehran was shut down in 2011 when a group of protesters raided and looted the building and ambassador’s residence during a rally against nuclear program related sanctions on Iran.

The decision of mutually re-opening diplomatic missions from the two countries came following the recently concluded deal between Iran and world powers’ group on Iran’s nuclear energy program, which had led to UN sanctions.

Diplomatic relations between the UK and Iran was before at the level of non-resident charge d’affaires.

Hammond is the first foreign secretary to visit Iran after former secretary Jack Straw’s 2003 visit.

On July 14, the world powers P5+1 group -- the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany -- reached a final nuclear agreement with Iran, which agreed to curb its nuclear research program and to open its nuclear and military facilities for inspections.

Hammond and his delegation are expected to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s national security council during the visit.


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