Hammond holds talk with President Rouhani in Tehran

British foreign secretary cautions that Britain right to work towards good relations with Iran but 'tread carefully'

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond leaves a Royal Air Force aeroplane after arriving at Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, Iran August 23, 2015.

Updated Mar 10, 2016

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond held talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Monday, he said sanctions could be lifted next spring, Reuters reported.

Hammond spoke to Reuters during his visit to Tehran to reopen Britain's Embassy in the Iranian capital, saying preparatory work should be done ahead of lifting sanctions so investment can start to flow as soon as the measures are removed. 

"We could be talking as early as next spring to start to see sanctions lifting off," he said.

However, Hammond drawing attention to the complicated past between Britain and Iran, said "Yes, we should tread carefully.

"There is a deep legacy of distrust on both sides, and we have major areas where we have very substantial policy differences, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be talking."

Hammond was the Britain's first foreign secretary to visit Iran in nearly four years and his visit follows visits from the French and Italian foreign ministers and also Germany’s vice-chancellor and the EU’s foreign policy chief. 


TRTWorld and agencies