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Photograph: Photo by Mark Harkin, used under CC BY

British Airways is to resume direct flights to Tehran later Thursday after an interruption of nearly four years, in another sign of Iran's closer ties to Western countries.

The flagship British carrier said there would be six flights a week to Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, with plans to ramp up to daily service later this year.

The signing of a landmark nuclear accord with world powers last year led to a lifting of economic sanctions that is expected to bring huge economic benefits for Iran.

"The recent lifting of sanctions has also effectively allowed Iran to reopen for business and paved the way for commerce to reconnect with Iran's economy," said Sean Doyle, British Airways' head of network and fleet.

Ties between Britain and Iran had been particularly frosty since a mob attacked the British embassy in Tehran in 2011, during protests against economic sanctions. The embassy was reopened in August last year.

The date for starting the London-Tehran flights had originally been planned for July.

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