Foreign Office relaxes Iran advice for British nationals

  • Published
Woman with Iranian flagImage source, AP
Image caption,
The change comes after a deal over Iran's nuclear programme and sanctions

The Foreign Office has relaxed its travel advice for British nationals visiting Iran.

British citizens are still being told to avoid border areas close to Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

But they are no longer being advised to avoid all but essential travel to the rest of the country.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said there had been "decreasing hostility under President [Hassan] Rouhani's government".

The advice brings the UK into line with most of its international partners, officials said.

The move comes weeks after talks ended in agreement on the future shape of Iran's nuclear programme.

Under the deal, Iran must curb its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

Media caption,
Iran is hoping that the nuclear deal struck with six world powers will help it become a tourism hotspot, as Jeremy Howell reports

Mr Hammond said: "Our policy is to recommend against travel to an area when we judge that the risk is unacceptably high.

"We consider that continues to be the case for specific areas of Iran, notably along Iran's borders with Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"But we believe that in other areas of Iran the risk to British nationals has changed, in part due to decreasing hostility under President Rouhani's Government".

The British Embassy remains closed after it was attacked by protesters in 2011 - although the British government revealed plans last year to reopen an embassy in Tehran.

Officials said British nationals travelling to Iran should contact the Swedish embassy or the embassy of another EU member state.

The advice for Britons travelling to Iran is now the same as it was prior to the 2011 attack, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.