Positive Attitude Toward Reopening of UK Embassy

Positive Attitude Toward Reopening of UK Embassy
Positive Attitude Toward Reopening of UK Embassy

The head of Iran-Britain parliamentary friendship group said there is a "positive" attitude toward the reopening of UK Embassy in Iran.

Abbasali Mansouri Arani said the talks are going on between officials from both countries on the issue and that he is "optimistic" that the UK Embassy will start working by the end of this Iranian calendar year, which concludes on March 20, IRNA reported on Wednesday.

Britain's "hostile" policies and "excessive demands" have given rise to a negative mindset toward the country among the Iranian public; nevertheless, in the current situation that "Several hundred thousands of Iranian are now living in Britain and there are many (Iranian) businessmen whose businesses are on hold (due to the absence of diplomatic ties)," something should be done to address the problems facing these people.

Earlier this month, Arani, who is a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, had mentioned provision of consular services by the UK Embassy in Tehran as a "necessary precondition" for London to be allowed to reopen the embassy.

Meanwhile, British MP Richard Bacon said last week that London and Tehran are making arrangements to reopen their embassies following a thaw in relations between the two countries.

Bacon told ISNA that the UK 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.

London 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. Days afterward it also demanded that staff of the Iranian mission in London close the embassy and leave the country.

The move came 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.

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.

Arani also said, "A parliamentary delegation from Iran will be paying a visit to Britain within the next one or two months at the formal invitation of British MP Richard Bacon," who is also a member of Britain-Iran parliamentary friendship group.