London : Britain and Iran Thursday resumed direct diplomatic relations as the Iranian embassy in London restored part of its consular operations.
Britain has agreed with Iran that from 20th February bilateral relations will be conducted directly through non-resident Charges d' Affaires and officials," Xinhua quoted the British Foreign Office as saying in a statement. "We will no longer have formal Protecting Power arrangements in place."
"This is the next stage of the step-by-step process of taking forward our bilateral relationship with Iran," the statement added.
The statement marks the latest development in a thawing relationship between London and Tehran, who severed their direct diplomatic ties following Iranian protestors' storming of British embassy in Iran in 2011.
In November 2011, thousands of angry Iranian demonstrators had broken into two British embassy compounds following Iran's decision to downgrade its diplomatic ties with Britain in response to its financial sanctions against Tehran.
After the incident, Britain withdrew its diplomats from Iran, shut down its embassy in Tehran, ordered the immediate closure of the Iranian embassy in London and expelled all Iranian diplomats from Britain.
Last month, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif agreed to develop bilateral relations on a "reciprocal and step-by-step" basis.