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Britain, Iran To Reopen Embassies After Four-Year Closure

Britain and Iran will reopen their respective embassies, four years after their closure when protesters angry over Western sanctions stormed the U.K. mission in Tehran.

Officials said Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who helped negotiate a historic nuclear deal between Iran and the West, will travel to Iran August 23 for the reopening of the British embassy.

Tehran will reopen its embassy in London at the same time, officials said.

Hammond would be the first British foreign secretary to visit Iran in more than a decade.

Several European officials have travelled to Tehran since July 14, when Iran struck the nuclear agreement with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States.

The accord authorizes the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear activities, and has sparked a flurry of interest from countries seeking to reconnect with the oil-rich nation.

In November 2011, hundreds of Islamist demonstrators protesting against sanctions stormed and ransacked the British embassy in Tehran.

Britain ordered its embassy in Tehran closed after the assault and expelled Iranian diplomats from London.

Based on reporting by AFP and The Guardian