The Guardian reports: Britain and Iran have taken a significant step toward reopening their respective embassies in Tehran and London by appointing chargés d’affaires and holding talks about staffing on the eve of new negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme.
William Hague, the UK foreign secretary, revealed to MPs that on Tuesday that talks with the Iranian government had taken place last week in a much more positive atmosphere following intensifying diplomatic contacts in the wake of the election of the moderate President Hassan Rouhani last June.
Progress would have to take place on a “step-by-step reciprocal basis”, Hague said, but he made clear he hoped the moves would pave the way to reopen the British embassy. “We are open to more direct contact,” he said, adding that the coming months “may be unusually significant” in British-Iranian relations.
A non-resident diplomat is to be appointed by both countries and talks have already been held about the key issues of numbers and conditions for local staff – often harassed in the past by the Iranian authorities. Inspection of premises was another matter being addressed. [Continue reading…]