Iran News ...


08/24/15

Iran-UK ties important to both countries: Diplomat

Source: Press TV


Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi (C) during a ceremony to reopen the Iranian Embassy in the UK, August 23, 2015 (Photo by IRNA)

A top Iranian diplomat says diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic and the United Kingdom are a necessity.

“Having relations and diplomatic missions is of significance to both Britain and Iran,” said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi on the sidelines of a ceremony in the British capital, London, to reopen the Iranian Embassy.

The embassies of Iran and Britain were officially reopened in both countries on Sunday.

Any diplomatic relationship has requirements, said Danesh-Yazdi, adding that for major countries such as Iran - which is considered the biggest country in the region and which has diplomatic relations with many world countries - having diplomatic missions is more often than not a necessity.

“Diplomatic missions function as a mechanism for the promotion of ties,” he said, adding that even governments that do not have diplomatic missions in other countries appoint accredited representatives, ambassadors or non-resident charge d’affaires.

Reiterating that both Tehran and London will benefit from having diplomatic missions, the senior diplomat said, “Undoubtedly, the reopening of the embassy and [the resumption of] its entire activities can help [establish] relations in different political, economic and cultural arenas.”

He also highlighted the key role that the Iranian mission to the UK can play in promoting the Iranian culture and the Persian language in the European country.

Danesh-Yazdi was among the officials present at the Sunday ceremony to reopen the Iranian embassy in London. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond was also on hand in Iran to reopen of the UK Embassy in Tehran at about the same time.


British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond moments before being joined by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (unseen) at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, in Tehran, August 23, 2015
(Photo by Islamic Republic News Agency)

The top visiting British diplomat said in a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hours after the reopening ceremony that he felt “delighted” about the reopening of the Iranian and British embassies, adding that they serve as “important practical channels” to engage on “many issues we have shared interests [in].”

Reopening our embassies is “a first step” toward reestablishing the links between the British people and Iranian people, Hammond said.

He said that there has been a “step-by-step” improvement in relations between the two countries since President Hassan Rouhani was elected in July 2013.

Back in November 2011, Britain closed the embassy and withdrew its diplomatic staff after hundreds of Iranian students staged a protest outside the diplomatic premises in Tehran against the expansion of UK sanctions on Iran, pulling down the UK flag and demanding the expulsion of the British ambassador.

Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) had earlier approved a bill to downgrade diplomatic ties between Tehran and London to the level of charge d’affaires.

The resumed diplomatic relations between the two countries will now continue at the level of charge d’affaires until the appointment of ambassadors, which is expected in the coming months.

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