The British embassy in Iran was reopened on Sunday after four years of closure as Iranian protesters stormed the embassy during a demonstration over Britain’s nuclear-related sanctions against the country in 2011.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Sunday attended the reopening ceremony in Tehran with representatives of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as diplomatic community and trade delegation.
The British Foreign Office said Hammond is the first British Foreign Secretary to visit Iran since 2003. The Foreign Secretary is visiting Iran on Sunday and Monday.
Meanwhile, the embassy of Iran in London also reopened on Sunday, which was also closed in November 2011.
“I am delighted to be here today. I am the first British Foreign Secretary to visit Tehran since Jack Straw in 2003, and only the third British Minister to visit since 1979. It’s a huge pleasure and privilege to be here,” said Hammond at the reopening ceremony in Tehran.
He said the attack in 2011 which forced the British embassy to close was a “low point”. And efforts from both Britain and Iran, and last month’s nuclear agreement helped the reopening of the British embassy, which could build confidence and trust between the two countries.
“Over the coming months, we will work to ensure that the nuclear agreement is a success, including by making sure that it is fully implemented by all sides, and through this embassy’s efforts we will support British trade and investment, once sanctions are lifted. That will bring benefits for Britain and the Iranian people,” he said.
“We must go on to tackle the common challenges we face together: terrorism, regional stability, the spread of ISIL in Syria and Iraq, trade in illegal narcotics, and migration,” he added. Enditem