Foreign secretary Philip Hammond travels to Iran to reopen UK's Tehran embassy after nearly four years

 
James Nickerson
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The Iranian embassy in London will reopen at the same time as the UK embassy in Tehran (Source: Getty)

The UK will formally reopen its embassy in Tehran this weekend, almost four years after the building shut down after being stormed by demonstrators.

Foreign secretary Philip Hammond will travel to Iran "in the coming days" to reopen the embassy. At the same time the Iranian embassy in London will be reopened, the Foreign Office told City A.M.

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This is part of easing diplomatic relations between the two countries in the wake of the Iranian nuclear deal that was reached last month. The US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany – the so-called P5+1 – agreed to lift sanctions against Iran in return for allowing UN nuclear inspectors extensive, but not automatic, access to sites within Iran.

The embassy was closed in 2011 after being stormed by activists who were angry with the UK over sanctions imposed on Iran.

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Sanctions were first applied to Iran in 1979, after the storming of the US embassy. Since then, they've been increasingly tightened - most notably, there is a ban on "the import or purchase of crude oil or petroleum products which are located in or which originated in Iran; and the provision of related financial assistance including insurance".

Foreign brands will return to the country and exporters will be able to receive funds in their own Iranian bank accounts, and petro dollars will return.

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