Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht-Ravanchi announced that the legal process for opening a European Union office in Tehran remains ongoing, but his own ministry’s spokesman denied the report. In a Nov. 6 interview with the Iranian Labor News Agency, Takht-Ravanchi said that with improving relations with the EU, “It is now crucial to open the EU office in the Iranian capital.” He added, “Since we have more collaborations [with the EU] due to new developments, it is unmanageable for an ambassador [to Iran] of another European country to take care of Iran-European Union relations.”
On Nov. 7, however, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi, in his weekly news conference, sparked controversy over Takht-Ravanchi’s comments by asserting that there is no “decisive and comprehensive view” on opening such an office in Tehran in the near future. “Negotiations [with the EU] are broad, long, time-consuming and complicated. However, we consider the talks per se as positive in finding common grounds for cooperation,” he said.