Iran’s President Rouhani Meets Britain’s FM Hammond + Video

Mon Aug 24, 2015 14:53:55

Iranian president Rouhani and British foreign secretary Hammond stressed on Monday the need for promoting political relations and developing cooperation based on mutual trust and resolving difficult history.

During their meeting on Monday, Rouhani and Hammond discussed ways to improve relations between the two countries.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made the remarks here on Monday in a meeting with British foreign secretary Philip Hammond, adding “in current situation, both countries’ officials have a greater responsibility to rebuild bilateral relations based on mutual trust.”

Noting that Iranian people remember and are wary of the foreign interference in their country’s affairs, the president added, “while one cannot quickly change a nation’s deep legacy of distrust in a short span of time, we are of the opinion that we should not linger in the past mistakes and should rather plan our moves with a look toward the future.”

“Iran and Britain must think about mutual interests of both nations as well as the region and expand their trade relations into bilateral and fruitful economic ties based on the available resources in both countries,” said Rouhani.

The Iranian president further added that along with economic cooperation, Tehran and London could promote the level of scientific and academic relations among other cultural projects.

“There are various projects in the fields of energy, roads, air fleet refurbishment, environment and mines in which Iran and Britain can participate,” said Rouhani.

Philip Hammond, for his part, expressed his gratitude toward Iran’s warm hospitality, saying “the two countries’ relations have steadily improved and the recent nuclear agreement will allow more forward steps to deepen the relations.”

Noting that Iran and the 5+1 nuclear deal can rebuild the cultural and historical relations between Iranian and British people, Hammond added “the reopening of embassies in Tehran and London was an important symbolic step that has led to effective and trust-building dialogues between the two countries, providing an opportunity for a better understanding of each other’s positions.”

He stressed the need for resolving the deep distrust and difficult history between the two countries, saying “I assure you that the British government will continue to fulfill its obligations under the nuclear deal.”

Hammond praised the growing trend of bilateral relations between Tehran and London, saying that the recent agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) will help improve the relations.

The nuclear deal can rebuild cultural and historical ties and boost cooperation between the Iranian and British nations, he said.

He further emphasized that the reopening of the British and Iranian embassies in Tehran and London on Sunday is an important symbolic gesture, which will lead to effective dialogues and confidence building measures between the two countries.

The British foreign secretary added that the development will provide an opportunity for the two countries to better understand each other's positions.


Following his talks with Rouhani, Hammond held a meeting with Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC). He is also set to sit down with Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani later in the day.

The British foreign secretary arrived in the Iranian capital on Sunday to formally reopen the UK embassy in Tehran.

The Iranian and British embassies resumed work in London and Tehran on Sunday four years after the two countries severed diplomatic ties.

The top British diplomat also held a meeting with Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday. Hammond and Zarif also attended a joint press conference.

Hammond's trip is the first visit to Iran by a British foreign secretary since 2003.

The British foreign secretary’s visit comes soon after visits from French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, and EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, after Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries reached a nuclear agreement in mid-July.

Iran and the six countries – the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – finalized the text of the nuclear agreement called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna, Austria, on July 14.

Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans, against the Islamic Republic.

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