Britain’s foreign secretary reopened his country’s embassy in Tehran on Sunday in a long-awaited step signalling better relations four years after a mob stormed the compound, forcing its closure. Philip Hammond’s two-day trip comes five weeks after Britain and five other world powers struck a deal with Iran to end a 13-year dispute over the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme. He led a ceremony shortly after noon in the embassy garden with Ajay Sharma, the new charge d’affaires who will be Britain’s top diplomat in Tehran. Iran’s embassy in London also reopened on Sunday. The two nations are expected to appoint ambassadors within months. Hammond, the first British foreign secretary to visit Iran since Jack Straw in 2003, described the violence that shuttered the Tehran mission as “a low point” but said a new journey was beginning. “Over the coming months, we will work to ensure that the nuclear agreement is a success, including by making sure that it is fully implemented by all sides,” Hammond said at the reopening. European officials have been quick to visit Iran since July 14, when the nuclear agreement with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States was announced in Vienna.
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