President Rouhani receives British FM

TEHRAN, Aug. 24(MNA) –Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani greeted visiting British Secretary of State Philip Hammond in Tehran on Monday morning.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani recieved visiting British Secretary of State Philip Hammond who had arrived in Tehran on Sunday morning to reopen the UK embassy in the country and hold meetings with the Iranian officials.

Hammond is leading an economic and political delegation of 30 including Treasury Minister Damian Hinds, Simon Walker, Director-general of the Institute of Directors; Anthony Browne, Chief Executive of the British Bankers' Association; Graham Cartledge, Chairman of the Architects Benoy, Edward Daniels, Shell's Executive Vice-President for Commercial and New Business‎ Development; an unnamed senior manager at Amec Foster Wheeler, the FTSE-100 energy infrastructure group; ‎Vikas Handa, an executive at Weir Group, which provides services to the oil and gas industry, and Simon Moore, International Director of the CBI.

The top British diplomat held a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and attended a joint press conference on Sunday.

Hammond is the first British foreign secretary to visit Tehran since 2003 and only the third UK minister to visit since the 1979 revolution.

The UK has had no diplomatic presence in Tehran since a group of protesters stormed the British embassy in 2011 but the election of Hassan Rouhani as president brought about a significant improvement in relations.

Initially, the embassy will be headed by a charge d’affaires, Ajay Sharma, but Hammond had said an agreement on upgrading to full ambassador status is expected to be reached in the coming months.

News Code 109469

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