Britain said Sunday night that it looked forward to the possibility of a meeting between Foreign Minister William Hague and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif. The government denied an Iranian report that such a meeting was already set up.
If and when the meeting takes place, it will be the first diplomatic contact between Britain and Iran in two years. Both countries recently declared that they wanted to improve diplomatic relations. Britain broke off relations in the wake of an attack by Iranian thugs on the British Embassy in Tehran in 2011. Britain said that the attack appeared to be “state sponsored.”
The meeting would likely take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next month. A Foreign Office official said, “They will be meeting but we have no further details at this stage.”
Hague said several weeks ago that he hoped Britain and Iran could open a positive dialogue. Hague said he hoped relations could evolve to help solve issues such as the Iran's nuclear program and the Syrian conflict. Iran also said it was interested in restoring relations, although it would take time, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
Prime Minister David Cameron also expressed hope that relations could be restored. We have effectively reached out to the Iranian government after the recent elections. And I have written to President Rouhani, so we are prepared to start trying to have a relationship with them,” he said last week. “We have effectively reached out to the Iranian government after the recent elections. And I have written to President Rouhani, so we are prepared to start trying to have a relationship with them,” he added.