Britain declares the decision to revive diplomatic ties with Iran by appointing a non-resident charge d'affaires.
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"Ajay Sharma has been appointed the UK's non-resident chargé d'affaires to Iran. Mr Sharma will take up his appointment immediately," Britain's Foreign Office said in a statement on Monday.
"I am very much looking forward to renewing direct UK contact with the Iranian government and society. This is very much in the interests of both our countries," Sharma said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Monday that Iran has appointed Mohammad Hassan Habibollahzadeh as the country’s non-resident charge d'affaires to Britain.
“Following a meeting between foreign ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Britain on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on September 23 and after meetings among officials of the two countries’ foreign ministries in New York and Geneva, [Iran’s] Foreign Ministry appoints Mohammad Hassan Habibollahzadeh as our country’s non-resident charge d’affaires to Britain and introduces him to the British side,” Afkham said.
She added that Habibollahzadeh would depart for London in the near future to examine the situation of Iran's possessions and buildings in Britain and also to improve current consular activities.
In a meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York City on September 23, Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and British Foreign Secretary William Hague discussed, among other issues, the improvement of Tehran-London relations.
In a telephone conversation with Zarif on October 7, Hague proposed that the two countries move to appoint non-resident chargés d’affaires in their respective capitals
On October 16, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American affairs Majid TakhtRavanchi and British Foreign Office’s Political Director Simon Gass reached an agreement in Geneva to introduce charge d'affaires soon.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on October 8 that in view of the Iranian parliament's approval of a bill to downgrade Iran-UK ties, Tehran and London agreed to maintain ties at the level of non-resident chargés d’affaires.
On November 27, 2011, Iranian lawmakers voted by a large majority to downgrade diplomatic ties with the United Kingdom, in response to Britain's decision to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran over the allegation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Two days after the decision by Iran’s Majlis, hundreds of Iranian students staged a protest outside the British Embassy in Tehran and pulled down the UK flag.
On November 30 of the same year, London cut off its ties with Tehran, withdrew its diplomatic staff from Iran and the Iranian Embassy in London was closed.