Press release

Foreign Secretary meets Iranian Foreign Minister

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says both sides remain committed to reopening Embassies when possible.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, today met the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York. This was their first bilateral meeting.

Speaking after the meeting, the Foreign Secretary said:

I met Foreign Minister Zarif in New York today.

We discussed bilateral relations and reaffirmed our commitment to reopen our Embassies once the necessary practical arrangements can be made. I also raised the UK’s continuing concerns about Iran’s approach to human rights, in particular the treatment of a number of British-Iranian dual nationals detained in Iran, including Ghoncheh Ghavami.

We discussed Iran’s nuclear programme. I stressed that it remains in all our interests to reach an agreement which addresses international security concerns and begins to rebuild global confidence in Iran as an international partner. I was clear with Foreign Minister Zarif that the UK remains committed to securing a deal, but Iran needs to show more realism and flexibility in order for negotiations to succeed.

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Published 22 September 2014