Hamid Baidinejad, acted as director-general for political and international affairs at Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs before heading to London. He presented his credentials to UK’s foreign secretary Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London and of Turkish-Jewish family roots.
Boris Johnson welcomed Hopton’s appointment as an important moment, saying the upgrade in diplomatic relations would increase dialogue between the two countries over conflicts in the region.
Nicholas Hampton, UK’s chargé d’affaires to Iran since 2013, presented his credentials to Iran’s foreign minister Dr. Zarif. Hampton had been UK’s ambassador to Yemen, Qatar and Morocco in the past.
UK’s new prime minister Theresa May as home secretary under David Cameron was against normalizing diplomatic relation with Iran.
In 2014, a British parliamentary report claimed that Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani is a ‘moderate’ leader and can be trusted – suggesting that “Rouhani should be judged not by his words but by his actions.”
In June 2014, former foreign secretary William Hague (with Jewish family roots) said: Iran is an important country in a volatile region, and maintaining embassies around the world, even under difficult conditions, is a central pillar of the UK’s global diplomatic approach.
After becoming prime minister, May tried to block the normalization of Iran-UK relations by asking president Rouhani to use his powers to get release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iranian-UK dual citizen, who was arrested in April while on visit to Iran. She is accused of spying for British intelligence agency MI6.
UK under May would play more aggressive part in the US-Israel agenda to bring a pro-Israel regime change in Tehran once they’re done with Damascus. Normalizing diplomatic relations are mainly for economical reason. While France, Italy, and several other European nations have inked trade agreements, Britain doesn’t want to miss an opportunity to dip into Iran’s $408 billion annual economy, the second largest in the region.
In 2013, former prime minister David Cameron told his Jewish friends: “An enemy of Israel is an enemy of mine. A threat to Israel is a threat to us all.”
On September 5, UK’s largest online news-site Jewish News commented: “News of the continuing rapprochement will provide no comfort to Israel’s supporters in the UK, who remain convinced that Iranian state-funded terrorism targets Jews in Israel and around the world.”