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'Historic moment' as Philip Hammond arrives in Tehran

Foreign secretary Philip Hammond has arrived in Tehran to reopen Britain's embassy, marking an "historic moment" after a thawing of relations between the UK and Iran.

Mr Hammond's visits comes nearly four years after protesters ransacked the British ambassadorial residence in the Iranian capital.

Britain to re-open embassy in Iran as tensions ease

Philip Hammond is the first foreign secretary to visit Tehran since 2003. Credit: Laura Lean/PA Wire

Britain's embassy in Iran will reopen today, in a sign of easing relations between the west and Tehran.

The move comes four years after the building was stormed by violent protesters, leading to it being shut down.

Philip Hammond has flown to Tehran for a ceremony marking the move, in what is the first visit by a British foreign secretary since 2003.

It follows the election of Hassan Rouhani, a more moderate president under whom relations with the west have improved significantly.

Huge crowds gathered at the British embassy in Tehran during riots in 2011. Credit: Reuters

This culminated with Iran signing a deal with western powers agreeing to curb its nuclear ambitions in exchange for a lifting of tough sanctions.

Announcing the move, Hammond said the move "does not mean we agree on everything" but added "the role of embasses is to build co-operation where we agree and reduce our differences when we don't".

Iran will simultaneously reopen its embassy in London, as part of a move which it is hoped can aid both countries' efforts to tackle challenges including Islamic State.

Khamenei: Iranian opposition to 'arrogant' US remains

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said has said that Iranian opposition to the "arrogant" United States will not change despite a nuclear deal with world powers,

Khamenei: Iranian opposition 'arrogant' US remains. Credit: Reuters

He added that Tehran remains sharply at odds with US policy in the Middle East.

Khamenei made the comments in an address marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

He said politicians should examine the agreement to ensure national interests were preserved, as Iran would not allow the disruption of its revolutionary principles or defensive abilities. American leaders sought Iran's "surrender", he said. Iran would not welcome war but if there were one, the United States would be humiliated.

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Iran's Supreme Leader cautious over nuclear deal

Iran's Supreme Leader has given a cautious welcome to the country's historic nuclear deal, but warned the text should be "carefully scrutinised" and claiming some of the other nations involved are "not trustworthy".

In a letter - his first public statement on the agreement - he thanked President Hassan Rouhani for the "significant step", but warned: "The text of the deal should be carefully scrutinised and the legal procedures should be taken so when the deal is ratified the other side cannot breach it."

Under the deal, sanctions will be lifted on Iran in exchange for an agreement of long-term curbs on its nuclear programme.

Khamenei is the ultimate authority on all matters of state, but was not directly involved the negotiations.

The P+1 nations that agreed the deal with Iran are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

World 'can be reassured' Iran can't develop nukes

"The world can be reassured all Iranian routes to the nuclear bomb have been closed off," according to the foreign secretary Philip Hammond.

The UK also plans to re-open an embassy in Iran once confidence in its nuclear ambitions has been restored.

As part of the deal, global economic sanctions on Iran are also set to be relaxed in stages.

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