Presented By
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif attends a joint press conference with British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond (not seen) at the Foreign Ministry in Tehran on Aug. 23, 2015
Fatemeh Bahrami—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Iran’s Foreign Minister said Sunday that it was premature to consider the reopening of a U.S. embassy in the country.

Javad Zarif’s remarks come as Britain restored its diplomatic presence in the country, four years after protesters stormed the U.K. embassy, triggering a breakdown in relations.

Speaking at a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Tehran, Zarif said the time was not right for Washington to follow suit, reports Reuters.

“It seems that there needs to be a change in that kind of attitude and behavior on the part of the U.S.,” he said. “So the situation is different with the U.S.”

America’s relations with Iran broke down in 1979 after a group of Iranian students, who supported the Islamic Revolution in the wake of the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, sacked the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

Angered by Washington’s support of the ousted Shah and his admittance to the U.S. for medical treatment, the students took over the compound, taking 52 hostages. The ensuing hostage crisis lasted 444 days.


More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Helen Regan at

You May Also Like