PM phones Iranian president

David Cameron has become the first British Prime Minister to call an Iranian president in more than a decade after discussing nuclear talks with Hassan Rouhani this afternoon.

Phone call part of a thawing in Iran's relations with West

by - Deputy Political Editor

The last time such a phone call was made by the occupant of Number 10 to the Iranian president was more than a decade ago. That was in January 2002 and the man on the phone was Tony Blair.

This is happening now because talks are resuming in Geneva tomorrow over Iran's nuclear programme.

But I think this is also about a wider thaw in relations between Iran and the West - Britain and America included.

President Obama had a phone conversation with President Rouhani at the end of September. That was the first time such a phone call had been made since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

We have just appointed a Chargé d’Affaires - a non-resident diplomat. We think that will lead to the eventual re-opening of our embassy in Tehran.

And get the irony of this: The Iranian president announced this whole thing on his English-language Twitter feed a whole hour before Downing Street.

Rouhani tweets about phone conversation with PM

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has summarised his phone conversation with the Prime Minister on Twitter:

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In a phone conversation, @david_cameron expressed regret over the #terrorist attacks in front of the Iranian embassy in #Beirut.

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Finding a political solution to the #Syrian crisis and improving bilateral ties were other issues discussed in phone conv w/ @david_cameron

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In phone conv w/ @david_cameron, ways to create positive atmosphere to address concerns of both sides on the #nuclear issue was emphasized

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PM and Rouhani 'agree on steps to improve relationship'

The two leaders discussed the bilateral relationship between Britain and Iran welcoming the steps taken since President Rouhani took office, including the appointment of non-resident Charges d’Affaires last week.

They agreed to continue efforts to improve the relationship on a step by step and reciprocal basis.

On Iran’s nuclear programme, both leaders agreed that significant progress had been made in the recent Geneva negotiations and that it was important to seize the opportunity presented by the further round of talks which get underway tomorrow.

The Prime Minister underlined the necessity of Iran comprehensively addressing the concerns of the international community about their nuclear programme, including the need for greater transparency.

– downing street spokesman

Read: UK revives diplomatic ties with Iran