Iran and Britain appoint new ambassadors

Iran and Britain appoint new ambassadors to each other's countries for the first time since a mob ransacked the British embassy in Tehran.

Tags: Britain-Iran
Ben Ariel ,

Re-opening of the British Embassy in Tehran
Re-opening of the British Embassy in Tehran
Reuters

Iran and Britain on Monday appointed new ambassadors to each other's countries for the first time since a mob ransacked the British embassy in Tehran in 2011, AFP reported.

Hamid Baeidinejad, 53, was named as Tehran's envoy to London. He played a crucial role in the negotiations with world powers that led to last year's nuclear deal and the lifting of international sanctions.

Britain, meanwhile, appointed Nicholas Hopton -- the current charge d'affairs in Tehran -- as its first ambassador to Iran since relations were severed.

"The upgrade in diplomatic relations gives us the opportunity to develop our discussions on a range of issues, including our consular cases about which I am deeply concerned," British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement quoted by AFP, referring to the ongoing detention of dual nationals in Iran.

"I hope this will mark the start of more productive cooperation between our countries, enabling us to discuss more directly issues such as human rights and Iran’s role in the region, as well as ongoing implementation of the nuclear deal and the expansion of the trading relationship between both our countries," said Johnson.

The British Embassy in Iran was closed in 2011 after it was stormed by Iranian students who were protesting against Western sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

Two years later, Britain resumed its ties with Iran by naming a charge d’affaires, a diplomatic post that is one level below ambassador.


But after the nuclear deal was signed, former British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he hoped Britain could reopen its embassy in Tehran, and then-Prime Minister David Cameron echoed that sentiment.

The British embassy was reopened in August 2015, a month after the signing of the nuclear accord, during a visit by Hammond.

Baeidinejad worked as an expert on disarmament and represented Iran in several roles at the United Nations, including as ambassador between 2008 and 2011, noted AFP.



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