Nicholas Hopton, former ambassador to Qatar, takes on role as diplomatic ties upgraded
Britain has appointed an ambassador to Iran for the first time since 2011 as it looks to improve cooperation between the two countries, the UK foreign secretary said.
Nicholas Hopton, a former British ambassador to Qatar and Yemen, will take up the role. It comes just over a year after Britain reopened its Tehran embassy, which was closed for nearly four years after it was stormed by protesters.
"The upgrade in diplomatic relations gives us the opportunity to develop our discussions on a range of issues, including our consular cases about which I am deeply concerned," Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement.
"I hope this will mark the start of more productive cooperation between our countries, enabling us to discuss more directly issues such as human rights and Iran's role in the region."
Good luck to Mr. Hopton - he will need it during this 'hostile posting'. As in previous years, the main problem for British and other diplomatic missions concerns which Iranian government to deal with at critical times.
There are at least two: Dr. Rouhani's more or less elected temporary government and the Spiritual Leader's selected invisible government which controls the system through the Judiciary and the Revolutionary Guards and, if the system prevails, will continue indefinitely.
Each of the two Iranian governments has perfected the art of Taqiyya in dealing with the Kharajee or outsider, so trying to distinguish between this and the normal forms of diplomatic subterfuge will be a challenge.