Nuclear Pact Clears Way for Reopening UK Embassy

Nuclear Pact Clears Way for Reopening UK Embassy  Nuclear Pact Clears Way for Reopening UK Embassy

A senior member of the House of Lords said last month's nuclear deal between Iran and major powers has paved the way for the resumption of Tehran-London diplomatic relations and reopening of their embassies in the near future.

Once the embassies resume operation in the coming months, "we will witness an increase in official contacts and an influx of British tourists to Iran," Eric Reginald Lubbock said in an interview with IRNA on Saturday. He described the nuclear accord between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) a "real achievement" that will draw Tehran and London closer together.

"I believe a great future lies ahead for Iran-Britain relations," Lubbock stressed.

Britain broke off ties with Iran in 2011 and withdrew its diplomatic staff from Iran and ordered the staff of the Iranian Embassy in London to leave. The move came after an angry group stormed the British Embassy to protest London's policy on Iran.

Nearly two years later in October 2013 and following the election of President Hassan Rouhani, the two sides agreed to appoint non-resident chargés d’affaires as a first step toward normalizing ties. Bilateral diplomatic consultations have been underway to reopen embassies ever since.

  Disastrous Decision  

Asked to comment on the consideration by the Republican-dominated US Congress of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear pact is formally called, Lubbock said, "I hope Obama wields enough influence to solicit the favorable opinion of Congress."

It would be a "disaster" for the entire world if US lawmakers vote to reject the JCPOA, he warned.

Congress has until Sept. 17 to approve or disapprove the pact. A rejection could face a promised presidential veto for which Republicans would require the backing of two-thirds majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to override.

The senior lawmaker said the nuclear agreement, which will remove sanctions against Iran in exchange for temporary restrictions on its nuclear program, can unlock great untapped potential for cooperation between Iran and Britain in various trade and cultural domains.

Acknowledging Iran's "influential role" in regional developments and particularly in the campaign against terrorism, he said, "Iran is deeply concerned about the growth of Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and wants to limit the power of the terrorist group. In this regard, Iran and Britain have a common policy." Britain's close cooperation with Saudi Arabia "does not rule out collaboration with Iranian forces in fighting against Daesh," he added.