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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid