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Iran's new charge d'affaires to UK to visit this week: London
Agence France Presse
British Foreign Secretary William Hague listens during the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) conference in Manama, Bahrain, on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
British Foreign Secretary William Hague listens during the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) conference in Manama, Bahrain, on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
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LONDON: Iran's new envoy to Britain is to make his first visit to London this week, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Wednesday, as ties thaw between the two countries.

The visit by Hassan Habibollah-Zadeh follows a trip to Tehran last week by his British counterpart Ajay Sharma.

Sharma's visit was the first time a British diplomat has gone to Iran since Islamist students ransacked the British embassy two years ago, pushing relations into deep freeze.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman told AFP that Habibollah-Zadeh would spend Thursday and Friday in Britain.

"He will meet UK officials at the Foreign Office on Friday 13, including the UK non-resident charge d'affaires Ajay Sharma," the spokeswoman said.

Britain shut its Tehran embassy after it was badly damaged in the November 2011 ransacking by students who were protesting against Western sanctions over Iran's disputed nuclear programme.

But relations have improved since moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani became Iran's new president in August.

The two countries each named a non-resident charge d'affaires -- a diplomatic post that is one level below ambassador -- last month.

 
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