The foreign ministers of Britain and Iran are scheduled to meet in the United Nations building in New York in a step toward reestablishing relations between the two countries that were suspended two years ago.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will hold a private meeting during the UN General Assembly meeting at the end of the month, in a sign of slightly thawing ties between the two countries.
“They will be meeting but we have no further details at this stage,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman told the AFP news agency.
According to the report, Britain first requested a meeting after the election of Iranian President Hasan Rouhani in June, and Tehran agreed.
Relations between the two countries have been on the rocks since the British Embassy in Tehran was stormed in 2011. London maintained that the attack was officially sanctioned.
Britain is interested in reestablishing ties with Tehran, Prime Minister David Cameron suggested last week, telling members of Parliament about the diplomatic gestures being made to Iran.
“We have effectively reached out to the Iranian government after the recent elections,” Cameron said. “And I have written to President Rouhani, so we are prepared to start trying to have a relationship with them.”
Earlier Sunday, a Twitter account purportedly belonging to Rouhani tweeted that the president would meet with Hague in New York. That information could not be verified.
On November 29, 2011, a mob ransacked the British Embassy in Tehran, injuring several people. The following day Hague announced the closure of the embassy and gave the Iranian ambassador in London, together with his staff, 48 hours to leave the country.
The 68th General Assembly meeting of the United Nations is scheduled to be held between September 24 and October 4.