Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) and British Foreign Secretary William Hague meet at the UN Headquarters in New York City, September 23, 2013.
Foreign ministries of Iran and Britain have agreed to appoint non-resident charges d’affaires as a first step towards reopening of embassies, Iran Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham says.
“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,” she added on Tuesday.
“And following these talks, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, in a telephone conversation with [Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif yesterday (Monday), proposed that the two countries move to appoint non-resident chargés d’affaires in their respective capitals,” Afkham stated.
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 as of Tuesday.
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 Iran’s Majlis, hundreds of Iranian students staged a protest outside the British Embassy in Tehran and pulled down the UK flag.
On November 30 of the same year, London cut off its ties with Tehran, withdrew its diplomatic staff from Iran and the Iranian Embassy in London was closed.