Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) meets his British counterpart William Hague on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, September 23.
The Islamic Republic of Iran and Britain have moved toward upgrading diplomatic ties by agreeing to introduce charge d'affaires within the next two weeks.
The agreement was reached in a meeting between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi and British Foreign Office’s Political Director Simon Gass in Geneva on Wednesday.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of a new round of negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, China, Britain, France and the US - plus Germany.
The recent development took place despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request that Britain not restore full diplomatic ties with Iran as long as Tehran did not recognize Israel.
Iran and Britain agreed on October 8 to appoint non-resident chargés d’affaires as a first step toward reopening their embassies.
The development followed a September meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and British Foreign Secretary William Hague in New York, during which they discussed, among other issues, the improvement of Tehran-London relations.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said that 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.