New Envoy in London

New Envoy in London New Envoy in London

Iran’s new ambassador to the UK and the new British ambassador in Tehran submitted their credentials on Monday.

Hamid Baeidinejad and Nicholas Hopton met Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in London and Tehran, respectively, IRNA reported citing a Foreign Ministry source. Baeidinejad has served as Foreign Ministry political director and was a senior negotiator during the talks between Iran and major powers which led to the historic July 14 nuclear deal.

Earlier in the day, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi had said efforts by Iran and Britain to normalize bilateral relations were moving forward. Asked to comment on media speculations that the two countries would soon exchange ambassadors, Qasemi confirmed “it is the request of both sides”. He was speaking at a weekly press briefing in Tehran on Monday. However, Qasemi said this does not mean “all problems between the two countries have been resolved”.

Diplomatic ties between the two countries were cut after Iranian protesters angered by London’s decision to intensify sanctions on the Islamic Republic stormed its embassy and pulled down its flag in 2011.

Following the incident, Britain withdrew its diplomatic staff from Tehran and expelled Iran’s mission. After the government of President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013, the two sides launched diplomatic efforts to mend ties. The British Embassy in Tehran reopened in August 2015 in a ceremony attended by then foreign secretary, Philip Hammond. It was the first visit by a British foreign secretary to Iran since 2003.

Simultaneously, Iran reopened its embassy in London, but relations had remained limited to the level of charge d’affaires.

  President’s Itinerary   

During the presser and asked whether President Rouhani will attend the 71st session of the UN General Assembly later this month, Qasemi said the issue is still under consideration, but before the UNGA, the president will travel to Venezuela.

“Iran is supposed to hand over the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement to Venezuela at the next summit of the body,” he said.

Iran assumed the rotating presidency of the organization for four years in 2012. Venezuela will take on the presidency of NAM in the summit, which will be held in its capital Caracas from September 13 to 18. Diplomats from around the world will gather at the United Nations to attend the annual UNGA debate from September 20 to 26.