British embassy to reopen in Iran after four years

Philip Hammond is due to reopen the embassy in Tehran at the weekend

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The Independent Online

Britain is to reopen its embassy in Iran nearly four years after it was shut down due to a mob attack.

Philip Hammond will be the first UK foreign secretary to visit Tehran in 14 years this weekend, when it is understood he will officially reopen the embassy.

As reported by the Guardian, Mr Hammond’s visit will come soon after those from the French and Italian foreign ministers, Germany’s vice-chancellor and the EU’s foreign policy chief.

He will be accompanied by several members of the British business community, including Sir Simon Gass, who represented Britain at the marathon negotiations on the nuclear deal.

Iran reached an agreement on the future of its nuclear programme with the US and five other world powers on 14 July.

In 2011, the UK ambassador's residence and several embassy buildings on the complex were stormed by hardliners who objected to the UK's decision to impose harsh trade sanctions on the regime.

The mob included members of paramilitary brigades controlled by the Iranian military.

Protesters climbed the walls of the embassy, looted the living quarters and burned the British flag.

The reopened British embassy will initially be run by the non-resident Chargés d’Affaires, Ajay Sharma, and a new ambassador has been appointed but has yet been not announced. 

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