Iran, Britain restore diplomatic ties

Oct. 9, 2013 at 7:25 AM
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TEHRAN, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Iran and Britain said an agreement has been reached with Britain to resume diplomatic ties at the charge d'affaires level.

"The agreement has been reached on resuming Tehran-London diplomatic relations at non-resident charge d'daffaires levels at present," an Iranian ministry spokesman told the Tasnim News Agency Tuesday.

Ties between the two countries broke down after the British Embassy in Tehran was attacked on Nov. 27, 2011, in response to Britain's decision to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran, the news agency said.

The sanctions were among steps taken by the West to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program. At the time a majority vote in the Iranian Parliament called for ties to be downgraded.

The decision to re-establish ties followed a telephone conversation between British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Monday, Tasnim said.

The two discussed the issue when they met on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

Hague Tuesday informed Parliament the two countries would appoint "a non-resident charge d'affaires tasked with implementing the building of relations, including interim steps on the way towards [the] eventual reopening of both our embassies."

Hague said gradual steps would lead toward restoring full diplomatic ties, Haaretz said.

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