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British Embassy in Bobby Sands Street to re-open

The British Embassy in Iran, located on Bobby Sands Street in the capital Tehran, is to re-open after being shut for four years
John Monaghan

THE British Embassy in Tehran – located on Bobby Sands Street – is to reopen after being closed for four years.

The move comes just weeks after Iran reached a deal with major world powers about its nuclear programme.

In a sign of normalising relations, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is to visit Iran at the weekend with a delegation of business leaders and senior government officials.

The embassy has been shut since 2011, when it was stormed by protestors angry at sanctions imposed by Britain against Iran.

The ransacking occurred amidst claims Iranian police at the scene failed to take action to protect the building, which stands on a street re-named after the late IRA hunger striker in the 1980s.

There has been no indication that the Irish Embassy in Tehran, which was closed in 2012, will re-open.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said last year that a lack of financial resources was the reason for the closure.

Diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran had remained strained since 2011, when Iranian diplomats were expelled, but last summer William Hague proposed re-opening the embassy.

The recent nuclear deal accelerated a thaw and opened the door to the first such visit to the country by a British foreign secretary since 2003.

Some sanctions will be lifted in return for assurances that Iran's nuclear programme is not aimed at producing a weapon under the deal struck by Britain and five other nations in July.

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