Britain's foreign secretary says he will meet Iran's foreign mininster this week to discuss restoring diplomatic ties between the two nations after a year of chilly relations.

"Certainly we are seeking normal relations," Sir Geoffrey Howe told reporters Tuesday. "That is one of the purposes of the meeting" with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, he said.When asked if he might announce restoration of relations after the meeting, Howe smiled and replied: "Watch this space."

Officials at the British Foreign Office in London said the meeting would be held Friday at U.N. headquarters in New York.