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                                        Volume. 12137

Britain says open to better relations with Iran
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_ep1(179).jpgTEHRAN – Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Wednesday he was willing to meet Tehran’s foreign minister to discuss the two countries’ frosty relationship, following the election of a new president in Iran, Reuters reported. 
 
Britain, at odds with Iran over its nuclear program and other issues, shut its embassy in Tehran after what it called “an attack by government-sponsored militias” on the mission in November 2011. Iran’s embassy in London was also closed. 
 
The Foreign Office said in a statement that Hague, in a phone call with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, said that he was ready to meet Iran’s foreign minister to discuss relations on a “step-by-step” and a “reciprocal” basis. 
 
He also stressed the need for urgent progress to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, which Iran says is entirely peaceful but the West suspects may be geared to developing weapons.
 
Iran has been engaged in talks with the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany, which are known as the P5+1, to help resolve the nuclear dispute. 
 
Hassan Rouhani, who was elected in June, has promised a less confrontational approach in nuclear talks with foreign powers than the one adopted by his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
 
Hague suggested he could meet his Iranian counterpart on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.  
 
EP/PA 
 

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