TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham underlined that the agreement reached between Iran and Britain to introduce non-resident charges d’affairs is a first step in the reopening of the two countries’ embassies.
Last week, Iran and Britain agreed to announce the names of their non-resident charges d’affairs in 14 days.
“By introducing the non-resident charges d’affairs, action will be taken for reopening embassies and this is the first practical step in the reopening of embassies in London and Tehran,” Afkham told FNA on Wednesday.
Yet, she stressed that the non-resident charge d’affairs activities would mean that the two sides’ diplomats would commute between the two countries and would not reside in the place of their mission.
The agreement was reached in a meeting between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi and former British Envoy to Tehran Simon Gass in Geneva, Switzerland.
Earlier this month, the Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman announced that Tehran and London have agreed to appoint non-resident charges d’affaires as a first step towards reopening of embassies in the two countries.
“Following negotiations between the two foreign ministers in New York, it has been agreed that talks shall continue between representatives of the two foreign ministries,” Afkham said.
“And following these talks, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, in a telephone conversation with (Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad) Zarif, proposed that the two countries move to appoint non-resident chargés d’affaires in their respective capitals,” she added.
In a meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York City on September 23, Zarif and Hague discussed the improvement of Tehran-London relations, Iran’s nuclear energy program as well as regional developments.
Afkham said in view of the Iranian parliament’s approval of a bill to downgrade Iran-UK ties, Tehran and London agreed to maintain ties at the level of non-resident chargés d’affaires.
On November 27, 2011, Iranian lawmakers voted by a large majority to downgrade diplomatic ties with the United Kingdom, in response to Britain’s decision to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran over the allegation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Two days after the decision by the Iranian parliament, hundreds of Iranian students staged a protest outside the British Embassy in Tehran and pulled down the UK flag.
On November 30, 2011, London cut off its ties with Tehran, withdrew its diplomatic staff from Iran and the Iranian Embassy in London was closed.
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