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UK ‘committed’ to improving ties with Iran, says Cameron

20 March 2016 20:21


UK Prime Minister David Cameron has congratulated the Iranian nation on Persian New Year, expressing his country’s commitment to further develop ties with Iran.

“As you reflect on the fundamental values of Nowruz (Persian New Year) – peace, solidarity and reconciliation – know that it is in the spirit of those values that the UK and Iran have taken important steps to develop our relationship over the past 12 months,” Cameron said on Sunday.

“And both [Iranian] President [Hassan] Rouhani and I are committed to building on these ties for the benefit of us all,” he noted.

The implementation of the landmark Iran nuclear deal in January along with the resumption of diplomatic ties after a five-year hiatus set the stage for the normalization of ties between the two countries, the British premier added.

Britain was part of the marathon nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations – which also involved the US, France, China, Russia and Germany.

London shut down its embassy in Tehran in November 2011, after hundreds of Iranian students staged a protest outside the embassy, censuring the expansion of UK sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The two countries officially resumed diplomatic ties in August 23, 2015, when British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond attended a symbolic ceremony marking the reopening of the UK embassy in Tehran.

Hammond, too, congratulated Iranians on the Persian year on Sunday, hailing the improving relations between the two countries.

“I was delighted to be able to visit Iran in August last year to re-open our embassy, to welcome [Iranian] Foreign Minister [Javad] Zarif to the UK in February, and most recently to restart our visa services in Tehran and London,” the top UK diplomat said.

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