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

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More