|British diplomat in Iran for talks||
TEHRAN – British Foreign Office Political Director Simon Gass travelled to Tehran on Monday to hold talks with senior Iranian officials.
Gass, who was Britain’s ambassador to Iran from 2009 to 2011, is the highest-level British diplomat to visit Iran since the British Embassy closed in 2011.
The British Foreign Office said talks on reopening the embassy were progressing well and that this visit was the next step in that process.
In December, the British non-resident charge d'affaires to Iran, Ajay Sharma, visited Tehran, becoming the first British diplomat to travel to the country in more than two years.
Britain ordered the closure of the Iranian Embassy in London after closing its embassy in Tehran following the storming of the compound by hundreds of angry students in November 2011. The students were protesting against the Western sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program.
But relations have improved since Hassan Rouhani became the president of Iran in August.
“Following a series of successful visits to Iran by the UK charge d’affaires, Mr. Ajay Sharma, Sir Simon’s visit is the next stage in the step-by-step approach to improving relations between our two countries. During his visit, Sir Simon is holding discussions with his Iranian counterparts on a range of bilateral and international issues,” a British Foreign Office spokesperson said.
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