TEHRAN (Press Shia) – British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson plans to pay an official visit to Iran this weekend to meet with senior officials of the Islamic Republic, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi announced.
Heading a high-ranking delegation, Johnson plans to make a trip to Tehran on Saturday to hold talks with the Iranian officials on a range of issues, including ways to boost bilateral ties between Tehran and London, Qassemi said on Friday.
During his visit, the British top diplomat will also discuss the latest status of economic cooperation between the two countries as well as regional and international developments, the spokesman noted.
Johnson’s trip to Iran would be made as part of efforts to improve Tehran-London relations.
Iran-Britain ties soured in 2011. On November 27, 2011, a large majority of Iranian lawmakers voted to downgrade diplomatic ties with Britain, following Britain’s decision to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran.
Later, angry Iranian students stormed the British embassy in Tehran and pulled down the European country’s flag.
Following the incident, Britain withdrew its diplomatic staff from Tehran on November 30, 2011, and asked Iran’s diplomatic delegation in London to leave within 48 hours.
The two countries made diplomatic efforts afterward to amend ties.
In August 2015, the British embassy in Iran reopened after a 4-year closure. Britain’s then foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, attended a ceremony in Tehran to mark the reopening on August 23. It was the first visit by a British foreign secretary to Iran since 2003.
Simultaneously, Iran’s embassy in London also reopened.
The thaw in Tehran-London relations came after finalization of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany).