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London, Tehran Preparing  to Reopen Embassies
National

London, Tehran Preparing to Reopen Embassies

British MP Richard Bacon says London and Tehran are making arrangements to reopen their embassies following a thaw in relations between the two countries.  

Bacon told ISNA on Saturday that the British Embassy in Tehran was planned to be back in business by August 28, but “unfortunately the Foreign Office later cancelled that plan” due to unspecified reasons.

He said, “Personally I am not satisfied with that decision as I wanted to see our embassy in Tehran to start working at the planned date.”

“Following the closure of the British Embassy in Tehran, and considering the fact that most western countries have embassies in Iran, London is damaging the outlook of its relations with Iran.”

The lawmaker stopped short of mentioning a new date for the reopening of the British Embassy when he said, “When I and Jack Straw (another lawmaker who formerly served as the British foreign secretary) met with (Prime Minister David) Cameron, we reminded him that it is in the interest of the administration to reopen the embassy in Tehran without further delay.”

Last week the head of Iran-Britain parliamentary friendship group, Abbasali Mansouri Arani, said the British Embassy in Tehran is expected to be reopened by the end of this Iranian calendar year which ends on March 20.

London, however, has pointed to “technical difficulties” regarding the import of equipment into Iran for the embassy’s operation as the main obstacle in the way of reopening its embassy.

Britain cut ties with Tehran and withdrew its diplomatic staff from Iran in November 2011 after a group of angry protesters stormed its embassy in Tehran to protest London’s anti-Iran policies. Parliament had earlier voted in favor of downgrading diplomatic relations with Britain.

The staff at the Iranian mission in London were also asked to close the embassy and leave.  

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 normalizing relations.

 

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