News / Middle East

British MPs Meet Zarif in Iran to Boost Diplomatic Ties

British politician Jack Straw, center, is welcomed to Iranian parliament lawmaker Abbasali Mansouri, left, Tehran, Jan. 7, 2014.
British politician Jack Straw, center, is welcomed to Iranian parliament lawmaker Abbasali Mansouri, left, Tehran, Jan. 7, 2014.
A British parliamentary delegation led by former foreign secretary Jack Straw met Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Tuesday at the start of the first such visit in years, Iranian state television reported.
Long-strained ties between the two countries have warmed since the relatively moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected Iran's president in June.
In December, a new non-resident charge d'affaires made Britain's first diplomatic visit to Iran since London downgraded ties after hardliners stormed its embassy in 2011. The two countries' respective embassies remain closed, however.
Iranian media said the delegation would also meet parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani and the head of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Alaeddin Boroujerdi.
Rouhani's election has also signaled detente on the thorny issue of Iran's sensitive nuclear program; six world powers including Britain agreed an outline deal in November that will curb the program in return for an easing of economic sanctions.
The other members of the British delegation are former finance minister Norman Lamont, Conservative member of parliament Ben Wallace and Labour lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn.

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Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
January 07, 2014 2:15 PM
Think Britain is trying to find out how much popularity it still commands. Compared with Russia, there should be a poll in Tehran to determine whether British popularity remains pre-1967 or it has waned considerably. Bet it must have been on the downward trend for now except Manchester United beats Sunderland this evening. Well. it's like trying to say England has very little to offer the world of today except the overwhelming support its premiership clubs enjoy worldwide. Jump-starting relations with rogue regimes that have been classified axis of evil and terror further degrades it while the likes of China. Russia and Brazil are on the ascendancy. By rushing to Tehran, will Britain regain its lost glory in world affairs? That's a question for the next millennium.

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