Britain is to announce moves towards reopening its embassy in Tehran, the BBC said on Tuesday, as the West steps up its engagement with Iran amid rapid jihadist advances in neighbouring Iraq.
The Foreign Office declined to comment on the reports but said Foreign Secretary William Hague would make a statement in the House of Commons at 0400 IST.
The reported move comes as jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) advance on the Iraqi capital Baghdad after a week-long offensive which has seen them make gains, including taking the second city of Mosul.
The United States, which is considering drone strikes, and Iran briefly discussed the crisis on the sidelines of nuclear talks in Vienna yesterday as the historic foes mulled their “shared interest” in preventing Sunni insurgents from gaining a foothold in Iraq.
Britain closed its embassy in Tehran in 2011 after it was stormed by a mob and suspended full diplomatic relations.
It appointed a non-resident charge d’affaires to Iran in November, restoring direct diplomatic contacts.
It is expected to announce moves today that would eventually lead to the reopening of the embassy in Tehran.