Britain and Iran will each appoint a non-resident diplomat to work towards mending severed ties after an attack on the British embassy in Tehran in 2011, Foreign Secretary William Hague said Tuesday.
“Both our countries will now 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,” Reuters quoted Hague as saying to the British parliament.
Hague said that the coming months “may be unusually significant” in British-Iranian relations, which have been also beset by argument over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, the Associated Press reported.
Moderate Iranian Hassan Rowhani winning the presidential election has raised hopes of a softening in relations between Iran and the West and a possible deal over the nuclear program.
However, Hague warned that there are still several competing centers of power in Iran and that the Islamic republic needs to make “substantive changes” to its disputed nuclear program if it wanted the West to ease sanctions on it
“Iran remains in defiance of six U.N. Security Council resolutions ... and it is installing more centrifuges in its nuclear facilities,” Reuters quoted Hague as saying.
“In the absence of substantial change to these policies, we will continue to maintain strong sanctions. A substantial change in British or Western policies require a substantive change in that program.”
(With Reuters and Associated Press)