The Iranian and British foreign ministers met at UN headquarters in New York today, September 24.
This is the first time the two top officials from the two countries have met since the administration of President Hassan Rohani took power in June.
Britain closed down its embassy in Tehran in 2011, after protesters stormed the embassy during protests over British sanctions against Iran, and diplomatic relations between the two countries have been heavily strained ever since.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed reestablishment of amicable relationships with Iran, saying Britain “does not seek a confrontational relationship with Iran” and that it is “open to better relations.”
Hague referred to Iran’s recent statement about being ready to ease international concerns about its nuclear program, emphasizing that: “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. And if such steps are taken, then I believe a more constructive relationship can be created between us.”
He added that Britain “will be ready to reciprocate in many ways.”
Hague reported that he and Mohammad-Javad Zarif have “now asked our officials to do further work” to establish better relations.
On Thursday, Zarif will meet with the P5+1 representatives to resume nuclear talks. U.S. Foreign Secretary John Kerry will attend the meeting on Thursday.