Iran: Former British FM due in Tehran early January

25th Dec 2013

Tehran, (IRNA): A British parliamentarian delegation, headed by former foreign secretary Jack Straw, is due to arrive here early January, it was announced here on Wednesday.

Speaking to IRNA, Head of Iran-Britain Friendship Group Abbas-Ali Mansouri said while in Tehran, the British delegation is to hold separate meetings with Majlis  Speaker Ali Larijani, Head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaˈeddin Boroujerdi and members of the the two countries friendship group.

Mansouri made the reamrks one day after he met Iranˈs non-resident charge dˈAffaires to Britain Mohammad Hassan Habibollahzadeh.

Iran and Britian decieded to improve their severed diplomatic relations on a step-by-step basis after a meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York on September 23 during which Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his British counterpart William Hague discussed improvement of bilateral ties as well as other issues of mutual interests.

Diplomatic relations between the two capitals severed in 2011 when hundreds of Iranian students staged a protest rally outside the British Embassy in Tehran on November 29, 2011, and pulled down the UK flag.

The protest rally was held two days after Iranian lawmakers voted by a large majority for downgrading diplomatic ties with the UK, in response to Britainˈs decision to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran over the allegation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear program.

On November 30, 2011, London cut off its ties with Tehran and withdrew its diplomatic staff from Iran and the Iranian Embassy in London was also closed.

In October 2013, Iran and Britain announced Mohammad Hassan Habibollahzadeh and Ajay Sharma as their non-resident charge dˈaffaires to Tehran and London.

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