Union Jack flies in Tehran as Britain reopens Iran embassy – Los Angeles Times

With police sealing off the site for safety, Britain on Sunday reopened its embassy in the Iranian capital, raising the Union Jack for the first time since the landmark diplomatic compound was stormed in 2011 by Iranian hardliners.

The reestablishment of a British diplomatic presence in Tehran – and the reopening hours later of Iran’s mission in London – marked another milestone in the Islamic republic’s cautiously improving ties with the West.

Last month, Iran and six Western powers, including the United States, reached a historic accord calling for long-term curbs on Iran’s nuclear program, although the pact still needs congressional approval. The agreement is expected to lead to the lifting of international sanctions that for years have left Iran economically isolated.

The November 2011 attack on Britain’s two main diplomatic compounds in Tehran were reminiscent of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy, which set off a 444-day hostage crisis. Washington and Tehran still have not resumed diplomatic relations.

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