UK & World News
UK To Reopen Iran Embassy, Says Hague
William Hague has said the "circumstances are right" to reopen the UK embassy in Iran as the West looks to improve relations to help tackle the crisis in Iraq.
Mr Hague said the Tehran embassy, which was closed after it was ransacked by a mob in 2011 and diplomatic relations soured, would open as soon as possible.
He said the there would be only a small presence with a limited number of services to begin with and that he had worked to ensure the security of staff in the capital.
Mr Hague said in a written statement: "There has never been any doubt in my mind that we should have an embassy in Tehran if the circumstances allowed.
"Iran is an important country in a volatile region, and maintaining embassies around the world, even under difficult conditions, is a central pillar of the UK's global diplomatic approach."
He added: "I have therefore now decided the circumstances are right to reopen our embassy in Tehran."
The UK's relationship with Iran has improved significantly since the election of Hassan Rouhani last year.
In October, the Foreign Secretary announced the appointment by both countries of non-resident charge d'affaires to work towards reopening the embassies.
Mr Hague's statement comes as the US prepares to open talks with Iran and US Secretary of State John Kerry suggested he would be open to military cooperation on Iraq.
The president announced last night that around 275 US military personnel could deploy to Iraq to provide support and security for the US embassy and its staff in Baghdad.
Mr Rouhani said at the weekend he would be willing to work with the West to tackle the bloody insurgency in Iraq and help stem the flood of terrorism across the Middle East region.
Senior officers from the Revolutionary Guard are already in Baghdad where they are offering assistance to leaders.
Shia-dominated Iran, which supports Syria's president Bashar al Assad, does not want Sunni militants to establish a stranglehold on the doorstep.