UK Envoy: Consultations Could Help Patch Up Differences

UK Envoy: Consultations Could Help Patch Up DifferencesUK Envoy: Consultations Could Help Patch Up Differences

The British non-resident chargé d'affaires to Tehran said increased parliamentary consultations between Tehran and London could help "resolve differences" and promise a major improvement in bilateral ties.

"Expansion of parliamentary relations between Iran and Britain plays an important role to help resolve differences and reach a common ground to enhance cooperation," Ajay Sharma said, expressing pleasure with the Iranian delegation's recent visit to his country.

He made the remarks in a meeting with the head of the Iran-Britain Parliamentary Friendship Group, Abbasali Mansouri Arani, in Tehran on Sunday, ICANA reported.

Sharma expressed hope that the reopening of the two countries' embassies would lead to "the start of a new chapter" in bilateral relations, adding, "The British diplomatic apparatus pays serious attention to Iran as an important, stable country in the Middle East."


  Constructive Talks

Mansouri Arani, for his part, referred to his recent visit to Britain at the head of a parliamentary delegation, saying, "We held constructive meetings with the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander and other British political and parliamentary officials in a positive atmosphere, and the implementation of the agreements reached during the meetings could play an effective role in improving bilateral ties."

The lawmaker said efforts are underway for the resumption of consular relations to facilitate visa issuance and other services to the two countries' nationals.

"Iran and Britain can cooperate in the areas of science, education, medicine, biotechnology, nanotechnology, aerospace and law enforcement, including the campaign against terrorism, abduction and drug smuggling to help promote regional stability and security," he added.

The parliamentary delegation's trip was made in response to a visit by members of the Britain-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group to Iran in late 2013, led by former foreign secretary Jack Straw.

Britain cut ties with Tehran in 2011 after group stormed the British Embassy to protest London's policy on Iran.

After President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013, the two sides agreed to appoint non-resident chargés d’affaires as a first step toward normal ties.