Iran MPs to visit UK to discuss embassy reopening

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A delegation of Iranian parliamentarians is expected to head to the UK capital, London, in the near future for talks on full reopening of the British embassy in Tehran.

A delegation of Iranian parliamentarians is expected to head to the UK capital, London, in the near future for talks on full reopening of the British embassy in Tehran, a lawmaker says.

Head of the Iran-Britain Parliamentary Friendship Group Abbas Ali Mansouri Arani said Sunday that the delegation would pay a visit to London in the coming months upon both verbal and written invitations from the British side.

According to Arani, Richard Bacon, the vice chairman of the Britain-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group, verbally invited Iranian lawmakers to visit London during his short stay in Tehran, where he attended a conference on fighting extremism earlier this month.

He further expressed hope that meetings between the Iranian and British sides would remove the existing obstacles, adding that reopening of the UK embassy in Tehran would facilitate obtaining visas for Iranians.

Arani added that during the visit, the Iranian delegation will also look into the problems facing Iranian nationals living in the UK.

In November 2011, Iranian lawmakers voted by a large majority to downgrade diplomatic ties with the UK in response to Britain’s decision to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran over the allegation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Two days after the decision by the Iranian Majlis, hundreds of Iranian students staged a protest outside the British embassy in Tehran, pulling down the UK flag and demanding the expulsion of the British ambassador.

Following the incident, UK announced in November 2011 that it is withdrawing its diplomatic staff from Iran and that the Iranian embassy in London would be closed.

Nearly two years after their diplomatic ties were severed, Iran and Britain agreed in October 2013 to appoint non-resident chargés d’affaires as a first step toward reopening their respective embassies.

On February 20, Tehran and London officially resumed direct diplomatic relations.

   
   

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