The British shadow foreign secretary says he is seriously pursuing the reopening of the UK embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
During a meeting with a delegation of Iranian parliamentarians on Tuesday in London, Douglas Alexander also underlined the need for promotion of ties between Tehran and London.
The British politician said that the UK has made mistakes with respect to its relations with Iran in the past, but that his country would hopefully make positive and constructive moves for a better future.
The member of the Labor Party in the British House of Commons also expressed the shadow administration’s readiness to contribute to the settlement of problems surrounding Tehran’s nuclear issue. Britain is a member of P5+1engaged in talks with Iran over its nuclear program.
Alexander also highlighted Iran’s significant role in the Middle East and the world, saying London is keen to cooperate with Tehran in different areas.
For his part, the head of the Iran-Britain Parliamentary Friendship Group Abbas Ali Mansouri Arani, said that Iran is willing to promote ties with the UK based on the Islamic Republic’s national interests.
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 program.
Two days after the decision by the Iranian Parliament, 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, the 10 Downing Street 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.