Rt Hon William Hague MP
Foreign Secretary William Hague tells Parliament British embassy to reopen in Tehran
Rt Hon William Hague MP said;
Over the past four months British and Iranian officials have paid regular visits to each other’s capitals. This has enabled us to resolve a range of practical matters concerning our embassies.
Our two primary concerns when considering whether to reopen our embassy in Tehran have been that our staff would be safe, and confidence that they would be able to carry out their functions without hindrance. There has never been any doubt in my mind that we should have an Embassy in Tehran if the circumstances allowed. On Saturday I telephoned Foreign Minister Zarif to discuss the progress we have made to date and our common interest in continuing to move forward in the UK-Iran bilateral relationship.
I have therefore now decided the circumstances are right to reopen our embassy in Tehran. There are a range of practical issues that we will need to resolve first. However, it is our intention to reopen the embassy in Tehran with a small initial presence as soon as these practical arrangements have been made. I expect the Iranian Government will similarly choose to take steps to reopen its embassy in London.
Inevitably, the initial embassy presence will only be able to offer a limited range of services at first. For the time being, Iranians will still need to apply in Abu Dhabi or Istanbul for visas for travel to the UK. But encouraging people to people contact is important and something that I hope we will be able to make progress on as the Embassy grows in size and capability over the following months.