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London, Tehran Take Historic First Step to Rebuilding Ties

A further upgrade in bilateral relations between Iran and the United Kingdom will require action by the Iranian parliament.
British Foreign Minister William Hague (L). shakes hands with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the beginning of their bilateral meeting at the United Nations in New York September 23, 2013.   REUTERS/Jason DeCrow/Pool  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX13X4G

TEHRAN, Iran — It's only the beginning for the United Kingdom and Iran. Nonresident chargés d'affaires in both Tehran and London will start the step-by-step process that was agreed on by both Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his British counterpart William Hague in their Sept. 23 meeting in New York to re-establish relations after two years of complete alienation.

Back in November 2011, Iran’s parliament decided to downgrade relations with Britain due to new sanctions put in place by the UK. The next day, dozens of angry students stormed the British embassy in Tehran, damaging property and driving the embassy staff away. On Nov. 30, 2011, in response to the attack, the UK closed its embassy in Tehran and ordered the closure of the Iranian embassy in London.

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