TEHRAN: British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Monday he expected sanctions on Iran could start to be lifted as early as Spring next year.
Speaking to Reuters on a visit to Tehran to reopen Britain’s embassy in the Iranian capital, Hammond said he expected Iran and the United States could endorse the nuclear deal they reached last month by October.
Hammond said preparatory work should be done ahead of lifting sanctions so investment can start to flow as soon as the measures are removed.
“We could be talking as early as next spring to start to see sanctions lifting off,” Hammond said.
On Syria, where Tehran has lent support to Bashar al Assad, Hammond said Britain and Iran still had fundamental differences over the future of the Syrian president.
“The thing we disagree on is the role of one single person, Bashar al Assad, in this process. But the important thing is we are talking.
“If we are going to get to a political solution we have to have the Iranians and the Russians engaged in that process too,” Hammond said.
He said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, with whom he held talks, had sent out strong signals of a desire for dialogue and Iran wanted to turn a page in its relations with Britain and the West.