British foreign secretary visits Iran for nuclear talks

  • British foreign secretary visits Iran for nuclear talks

British foreign secretary visits Iran for nuclear talks

Iranian state media say the country's foreign minister discussed ways of easing worldwide financial transactions during a meeting with British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt in Tehran.

Jeremy Hunt has warned Iran against using innocent dual-national Britons as political prisoners as he prepared to visit the country for the first time.

The latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency - the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations - indicated last week, that, days after fresh USA sanctions against Iran took effect, Iran was abiding by the terms of the deal with global powers.

The European signatories of the deal-the UK, France, and Germany-have been actively trying to find ways to make sure Iran sticks to the agreement, doubling down on these efforts after Tehran threatened to revive its nuclear program after the United States' exit if the European Union signatories failed to find a way to continue buying Iranian crude oil after the USA sanctions returned.

In a statement ahead of his visit to Tehran, Hunt called the nuclear deal "a vital component of stability in the Middle East".

In an effort to balance their Iran policy, ministers also discussed setting up a special mechanism to trade with Iran that would be under European Union, not national, law.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that United States sanctions would not prevent his country from exporting oil and that Iran would not give in to pressure from Washington.

Hunt was also expected to raise the case of British-Iranian charity worker, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was arrested during a holiday with her toddler daughter in April 2016 and accused by Iran of plotting against the government.

"But we also need to see an end to destabilising activity by Iran in the rest of the region if we are going to tackle the root causes of the challenges the region faces".

Iranian state TV said Hunt would also meet Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, suggesting that talks over the fate of Zaghari-Ratcliffe were likely.

On Yemen, Hunt was to stress concerns at reports that Iran has supplied ballistic missiles and weapons to the Huthi rebels, his ministry said.

"I have just heard too many heartbreaking stories from families who have been forced to endure a awful separation".