Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond defends thaw in UK-Iranian relations

Foreign secretary, in Tehran for reopening of British embassy, says countries have shared interest in tackling Isis and questions Iran’s true position on Israel

Britain will “tread carefully” as it rebuilds relations with Iran, but the countries need to work together to tackle problems like Islamic State, Philip Hammond has said.

The British foreign secretary – speaking from Tehran on Monday, following the reopening of Britain’s embassy in the city and ahead of a meeting with the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani – said that, although relations had been improving, the countries had a “difficult history”.

But it was better for them to engage with each other, and in time Iran could play “a more measured and more responsible” role in the Middle East, he said.

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This article was written by Andrew Sparrow for The Guardian on Aug. 24, 2015. Andrew Sparrow is the senior political correspondent on the Guardian website.