UK Plans to Reopen Embassy in Iran

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) — After months of work to expand and improve their relationship with Iran, the United Kingdom expects to reopen its embassy in that country, more than two years after diplomatic relations between the two nations were suspended.

In a statement, William Hague, U.K. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, said that over the last four months, the U.K.’s confidence in bilateral business with Iran had grown. In the time after diplomacy was broken off, most dealings had been conducted through Swedish and Omani intermediaries.

Both British and Iranian officials have traveled to each other’s capitals in recent months and worked to “resolve a range of practical matters concerning our embassies.”

Hague said that the U.K.’s biggest concerns before reopening its Tehran embassy was the safety and security of its officials and their ability to carry out their functions without hindrance.

Before the embassy is reopened, there are “a range of practical issues” that must be resolved, Hague said. Hague added that the Iranian government is expected to take similar steps and eventually reopen its embassy in London.

Upon reopening, the U.K. embassy in Iran will “only be able to offer a limited range of services,” requiring Iranians to apply for travel visas to the U.K. in Abu Dhabi or Istanbul.

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