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London turns to social media to engage Iran

Oct. 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM

LONDON, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The British government said Tuesday it was reaching out to the Iranian people through social media to get around a diplomatic blockade.

"Since the closure of our embassy in 2011, the U.K. has remained keen to stay in touch with Iranians," the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement Tuesday. "Our social media channels have helped us to maintain contact online."

The FCO said it had three separate social media platforms set up to engage directly with Iranians.

British Foreign Minister William Hague spoke last week by phone with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif. Hague said both sides agreed to appoint non-resident charge d'affaires and work toward establishing formal diplomatic ties.

The British Embassy in Tehran closed in November 2011 following an attack the British government said was the work of "government-sponsored militias." The Iranian Embassy in London closed as well. The British government said diplomatic ties were intact but at the lowest level necessary to maintain diplomatic relations.

"We are always looking for ways to develop our social media presence across a range of channels to continue an open conversation with Iranians in the U.K. and elsewhere," the FCO said.

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