The British Foreign Secretary says Iran and Britain have begun talks aimed at restoring severed diplomatic relations.

William Hague said on Tuesday October 8 that “a marked change” in Iran’s approach since the election of President Rohani in June had triggered the thaw in relations between the two countries.

Hague reported: “Both our countries will now appoint a non-resident charge d'affaires tasked with implementing the building of relations, including interim steps on the way towards (the) eventual reopening of both our embassies.”

He added: “It is clear that the new president and ministers in Iran are presenting themselves and their country in a much more positive way. We must test the Iranian government’s sincerity to the full.”

Britain closed its embassy in Tehran two years ago, when protests against British sanctions on Iran led to an attack on the embassy premises.