|British diplomat holds talks in Tehran on reopening embassy||
TEHRAN – Visiting British Foreign Office Political Director Simon Gass on Monday held meetings with Iranian Foreign Ministry officials on the improvement of bilateral ties and reopening of the British Embassy in Tehran.
During his brief trip to Tehran on Monday, Gass held talks with Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi, and Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
The talks focused on a number of international issues, including the nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers and the latest developments in the Middle East.
In the meeting Takht-Ravanchi said, “There is the likelihood of a rise in the level of diplomatic ties between Tehran and London.”
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 in Tehran was 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.
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