US rules out opening embassy in Iran after UK move

US rules out opening embassy in Iran after UK move

WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
US rules out opening embassy in Iran after UK move

AP photo

The United States announced Aug. 24 it has “no intention” to reopen an embassy in Tehran, just one day after the United Kingdom reopened its diplomatic mission in the Iranian capital.

A potential thaw in ties between Washington and Tehran began to receive more attention after Iran and six world powers - including the U.S. - signed an agreement last month in Vienna to curb Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange of sanctions relief.

During the press briefing on Aug. 24, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. had no plans to reopen an embassy in Iran, while describing the U.K.’s decision to reopen an embassy as a “sovereign decision.”

“For the United States, we have no intention to do that [opening an embassy in Tehran],” Kirby said.

“What we want to see out of Iran is actions, the appropriate actions to prove that they are going to meet their end of this deal before they get a penny of sanctions relief, and that’s what our focus is,” he added.

In 1979, the U.S. closed its embassy in Tehran after more than fifty American diplomats and embassy staff were taken hostage for 444 days by a group of Iranian students.

Since then, the United States has not had a physical or diplomatic presence in Iran.

During a joint press conference on Aug. 24, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the reopening of their respective embassies in Tehran and London marked the first step in the rebuilding of bilateral ties.

The decision to mutually open diplomatic missions between the two countries came following the recently reached deal on Iran’s nuclear program.