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Staff need to be 'safe and secure' before reopening Iran embassy

The Secretary of State William Hague has issued a statement on the possible reopening of the British embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran:

Our two primary concerns when considering whether to reopen our embassy in Tehran have been assurance that our staff would be safe and secure, and confidence that they would be able to carry out their functions without hindrance.

There are a range of practical issues that we will need to resolve first.

However it is our intention to reopen the Embassy in Tehran with a small initial presence as soon as these practical arrangements have been made.

– William Hague

Hague plans to reopen British embassy in Tehran

William Hague has announced that Britain wants to reopen the British embassy in Iran as the West looks to normalise relations to help ease the crisis in neighbouring Iraq.

The Foreign Secretary told MPs that "circumstances are right" to re-open the British embassy in Tehran.

Protesters break down the British emblem from the Tehran embassy in 2011. Credit: Parspix/ABACA/PA

Mr Hague said he had discussed a number of matters in a meeting yesterday, including the situation in Iraq, with Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The UK has had no diplomatic presence in Tehran since a mob ransacked the British embassy in 2011.

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Iran's leader: Western expectations 'stupid and idiotic'

Iran's Supreme Leader described Western expectations for his country to curb its missile development as "stupid and idiotic," striking a defiant tone ahead of a fresh round of nuclear talks.

Khamenei calls on Iran's Revolutionary Guards to mass produce missiles Credit: REUTERS/Caren Firouz

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iran's Revolutionary Guards to mass produce missiles and said the nuclear negotiations were not the place to discuss Tehran's defence programme.

"They expect us to limit our missile programme while they constantly threaten Iran with military action," Khamenei was quoted as telling the IRNA news agency.

Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia will reconvene in Vienna on Tuesday for a new round of nuclear talks.

Iran denies new Lockerbie bombing claims

Iran denied any involvement in the Lockerbie bombing in the face of the new allegations it contracted Palestinian and Syrian militants to carry out the attack.

Read: Former Iranian spy claims Iran was behind Lockerbie

New documents obtained by Al-Jazeera claim to show Iranian militants were behind the 1988 attack that killed 270 people. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told AFP:

We reject any claims of Iranian involvement in this act of terror. Iran's stance not only on this case but on all terrorist-related issues is quite clear: Iran flatly denies (links) to any act of terror.

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'Nothing new to Lockerbie claims' says Crown Office

Scotland's Crown Office says there is 'nothing new' in the latest claims that Iran was responsible for the Lockerbie air disaster.

"Mesbahi's claim that Iran was responsible was first reported in the media in the late 1990s and was available to the defence before the trial but they did not call him as a witness.

"The only appropriate forum for the determination of guilt or innocence is the criminal court, and Mr Megrahi was convicted unanimously by three senior judges. His conviction was upheld unanimously by five judges, in an Appeal Court presided over by the Lord Justice General, Scotland’s most senior judge.

"As the investigation remains live, it would not be appropriate to offer further comment."

– Crown Office spokesperson

Former Iranian spy claims Iran was behind Lockerbie

A former Iranian intelligence agent has claimed in a new documentary that the Lockerbie bombing was ordered by Iran and carried by out a Syrian-based terror group.

The Lockerbie bombing killed 270 people. Credit: Reuters/Greg Bos/files

Abolghassem Mesbah, a defector to Germany, told investigative journalists from Al Jazeera that the Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini, ordered the bombing "to copy exactly what happened to the Iranian airbus"

The new claims, with supporting documents, will be broadcast tonight in a documentary called Lockerbie: What Really Happened? and will name key players said to be involved in the planning and implementation of the terror attack that killed 270 people in 1988.

Iran agrees to provide data on 'bridge wire detonators'

The International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) have reached an agreement with Iran. Credit: REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Iran has agreed to give the UN nuclear agency "information and explanations" about "exploding bridge wire detonators" as part of "seven practical measures to be implemented by Iran", the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) has said.

The IAEA is currently investigating whether Tehran may have carried out nuclear research and the designing of an atomic bomb.

Iran has rejected any accusation it is working to develop nuclear weapons, agreeing to cooperate with IAEA to clear any "ambiguities".

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