UK Committed to Reopening Tehran Embassy

UK Committed to Reopening Tehran Embassy UK Committed to Reopening Tehran Embassy

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said London is working with Iranian officials to reopen the British Embassy in Tehran in spite of some “technical difficulties”.

In response to a question posed by a lawmaker, Hammond told the House of Commons on Tuesday, “We are committed to reopening embassies” of the two countries “as soon as possible,” according to a transcript of his comments posted on the UK parliament’s website. As to the cause of the “technical issues”, the foreign secretary said Britain needs to import into Iran equipment for the embassy to replace “what was destroyed during the events of November 2011.”

“We need to be able to take in that equipment in a way that is secure and that maintains necessary confidentiality.”

He underlined that London will be “continuing to engage with the Iranians” to resolve those minor issues. In November 2011, Britain cut its ties with Tehran and withdrew its diplomatic staff from Iran and the Iranian Embassy in London was closed.

The move came after angry students stormed the British Embassy in Tehran in protest at Britain’s policy on Iran. Parliament had earlier voted in favor of downgrading diplomatic relations with Britain. Nearly two years later in October 2013, and following the election of President Hassan Rouhani, the two countries agreed to appoint non-resident chargés d’affaires as a first step toward reopening their respective embassies.