Iran and Britain appointed new ambassadors to each other’s countries on Monday for the first time since a mob ransacked the British embassy in Tehran in 2011. Hamid Baeidinejad, 53, was named as Tehran’s envoy to London, ISNA state news agency reported. He played a crucial role in the negotiations with world powers that led to last year’s nuclear accord and the lifting of international sanctions. Britain appointed Nicholas Hopton — the current charge d’affairs in Tehran — as its first ambassador to Iran since relations were severed following the storming of the embassy by students in five years ago. “The upgrade in diplomatic relations gives us the opportunity to develop our discussions on a range of issues, including our consular cases about which I am deeply concerned,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement, referring to the ongoing detention of dual nationals in Iran. The 2011 attack on the embassy saw a mob rampage for hours through the compound, tearing down the British flag, ripping up pictures of Queen Elizabeth II and trashing offices. The incident followed a vote by lawmakers to expel Britain’s ambassador and reduce trade relations in retaliation for nuclear-related sanctions, but the violence was later condemned by Iran’s supreme leader and other politicians. The British embassy was reopened in August 2015, a month after the signing of the nuclear accord, during a visit by Johnson’s predecessor Philip Hammond.
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Newsline: Britain, Iran announce first ambassadors in five years