News / Middle East

UK Open to Improving Relations with Iran

British Foreign Minister William Hague (l) meets with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javid Zarif at the United Nations, Sept. 23, 2013.
British Foreign Minister William Hague (l) meets with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javid Zarif at the United Nations, Sept. 23, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
Britain’s foreign secretary says his country is open to better relations with Iran, and would consider re-opening its embassy in Tehran.

William Hague met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javid Zarif Monday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. He told reporters afterward that they discussed a range of issues, including the conflict in Syria, Iran’s suspect nuclear program, human rights and relations between their countries.

Secretary Hague said he welcomed recent statements by Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, that he wants to improve relations with other countries.

“The time is now right for those statements to be matched by concrete steps by Iran, to address the international community's concerns about Iran's intentions," he said. "And if such steps are taken, then I believe a more constructive relationship can be created between us."

Hague said he discussed the issue of Britain's embassy in Iran with Minister Zarif. London closed the embassy after protesters overran it in late 2011.

“Of course, ultimately, as I have made clear in Parliament, for Britain to operate an embassy in Tehran again we would have to know that such an embassy could perform all the normal functions of an embassy without the harassment and without the difficulties that were placed in the way of it before," he said.

In response to the attack, the British government shut Tehran’s London embassy and expelled all of its diplomats.  London said it did not think the attack could have taken place without the consent of Iranian authorities.

On the crisis in Syria, Secretary Hague said Iran could play a constructive role if it supports the Geneva framework for political talks between the parties and if it stops directly supporting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

He said the U.N. Security Council will continue working this week toward a resolution to implement Syria’s declaration and eventual destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid