British lawmakers visit Iran on first such trip in years

A British Parliament delegation arrived in Tehran on Tuesday on the first visit by U.K. lawmakers to Iran in years, as the two countries work to improve relations and ahead of continued talks on the country’s disputed nuclear program.

TEHRAN, Iran — A British Parliament delegation arrived in Tehran on Tuesday on the first visit by U.K. lawmakers to Iran in years, as the two countries work to improve relations and ahead of continued talks on the country’s disputed nuclear program.

The four-member delegation was headed by former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who last visited Iran in 2003 as Britain’s top diplomat, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.

Semi-official ISNA news agency reported that Straw told his Iranian counterparts he is “optimistic” that a November deal between Iran and world powers over the nuclear program will be realized.

Last November, Iran agreed to cap its nuclear enrichment program in return to easing some sanctions by the West. Both sides have held three rounds of expert-level talks about how to implement the interim deal.

EU and Iranian officials will meet again this week to finalize details on the implementation.

EU negotiator Helga Schmid will hold talks in Geneva with Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbasa Araghchi, an EU spokeswoman said Tuesday in Brussels.