British Foreign Secretary William Hague
British Foreign Secretary William Hague Israel news photo: Flash 90

Britain and Iran are taking steps toward restoring ties, two years after Britain cooled ties with Tehran, removing diplomats following an attack on its embassy.

Foreign ministers from the two countries met to discuss a rapprochement at a meeting in New York, Monday.

Following the meeting, British Foreign Secretary William Hague reported that Britain and Iran would each appoint a charge d’affaires, a diplomatic post that is one level below ambassador.

In a separate announcement, Iranian leaders confirmed that the two countries would be appointing the diplomatic position soon.  

"Following the meeting between the two foreign ministers in New York, (Britain's) William Hague on Monday called Iranian (counterpart) Mohammad Javad Zarif to propose the appointment of charges d'affaires in both countries," ISNA news agency quoted foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham as saying, AFP reports.

"Pursuant to a decision by the Iranian parliament, it was agreed that from today the two countries have a relationship at the level of non-resident charges d'affaires," she added.

Britain’s embassy in Tehran was attacked by Islamist students in November 2011 during a protest against sanctions on Iran.

In August, Iranians elected Hassan Rouhani as president, replacing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rouhani has cultivated a more moderate image than Ahmadinejad, and has worked to smooth relations with the West. Israeli leaders have expressed concern at Rouhani's overtures, suggesting that the Iranian president's speeches may cover an agenda that is not unlike Ahmadinejad’s.