News / Middle East

Britain Increases Pressure on Iran After Attacks

British police stand guard outside the Iranian Embassy in London. Britain's foreign secretary on Wednesday ordered all Iranian diplomats out of the U.K within 48 hours following attacks on the British embassy and a residential compound in Tehran, November
British police stand guard outside the Iranian Embassy in London. Britain's foreign secretary on Wednesday ordered all Iranian diplomats out of the U.K within 48 hours following attacks on the British embassy and a residential compound in Tehran, November

Britain has ordered the immediate closure of the Iranian embassy in London and has closed its embassy in Tehran, following a mob attack Tuesday on British embassy compounds in the Iranian capital.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced the decision in parliament Wednesday. He said Iran's diplomatic staff has been ordered to leave the United Kingdom within 48 hours.

"If any country makes it impossible for us to operate on their soil, they cannot expect to have a functioning embassy here," said Hague.

Hague added that Britain's response is not an indication it is severing ties with Iran. However, he said the action reduces relations with Iran to the "lowest level consistent with the maintenance of diplomatic relations."

On Tuesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Iran faced "serious consequences" for failing to defend the British compounds from protesters who smashed embassy windows and ransacked offices as police looked on.

The Iranian protesters had gathered in a reflection of government anger at British financial sanctions imposed on Iran last week.

Britain, the United States and Canada announced coordinated sanctions in response to Iran's pursuit of a nuclear program that U.N. experts say appears designed to build weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said Wednesday that Iranian police tried to maintain calm during the assaults in Tehran.

"This anger was the outpouring of several decades of exploitative actions by England in Iran. Part of it dated back to early periods of constitutional revolution [1905] and part of it was because of [UK's] role in strengthening the Pahlavid dynasty. After the revolution, which caused England to lose its influence, they continued their animosity with the Iranian nation," said Larijani.

He also said the protests reflected ongoing Iranian discontent with Britain.

The attacks drew more international criticism Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's office said he expressed shock and outrage as he met with a British official during an aid conference in South Korea.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strongly condemned the embassy assault as an "affront not only to the British people but also to the international community."  

China's foreign ministry said the assault was "contrary" to international law and norms, and should be dealt with "appropriately." It was a rare Chinese criticism of Iran, a key supplier of energy to the Chinese economy.

France recalled its ambassador to Iran for consultations. The foreign ministry said the move was a result of Tehran's "flagrant and unacceptable violation" of international diplomacy guidelines.

Germany also recalled its ambassador from Iran.

Norway has closed its diplomatic mission in Tehran following Tuesday's mob assaults on the British facilities.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid