News / Middle East

Iranian Protesters Storm British Diplomatic Compounds in Tehran

Iranian police prevent some protesters from entering the British Embassy, in Tehran, Iran, November 29, 2011.
Iranian police prevent some protesters from entering the British Embassy, in Tehran, Iran, November 29, 2011.

Iranian protesters stormed the British embassy in Tehran Tuesday following new British economic sanctions against Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program.

The protesters pushed their way past security and onto the large embassy compound, chanting, "Death to Britain."  They smashed windows, set fire to a car, and threw documents out of the building.  One protester pulled down the British flag while another stole a portrait of Queen Elizabeth.

Another group of Iranians also stormed a British diplomatic office in northern Tehran and briefly surrounded six people.  British authorities did not regard the six as hostages and said all diplomatic personnel in Tehran have been accounted for.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says he is outraged over what happened in Tehran.  He says the Iranian government's failure to defend British staff and property is a disgrace and is holding it responsible.

The White House says U.S. President Barack Obama is deeply disturbed by the attack.  France is also condemning the incident.

Recent Britain/Iran Incidents

  • April 1980: Iranian gunmen storm the country's embassy in London and take 26 hostages.
  • February 1989: Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issues a religious edict ordering Muslims to kill British author Salman Rushdie, saying his novel The Satanic Verses was blasphemous to Islam.
  • March 2007: Iran detains 15 British Navy personnel on charges of illegally entering Iranian waters.
  • June 2007: Iran's foreign ministry condemns Britain's decision to grant knighthood to Salman Rushdie, calling it an insult to the Muslim world.
  • June 2009: Britain freezes some Iranian assets under sanctions imposed for Iran's disputed nuclear program.
  • November 2011: Britain cuts financial ties with Iranian banks in a new sanction against Iran's alleged effort to develop nuclear weapons.

Last week, Britain cut business transactions with all banks in Iran, including the Central Bank, as part of sanctions with the United States and Canada.  The move was in response to Iran's suspected program to build nuclear weapons.  It was the first time Britain has cut ties with the entire banking sector of a country.

The new sanctions followed a new United Nations atomic energy agency report saying Iran is likely researching nuclear weapons.  Tehran insists its nuclear activities are for civilian purposes.

Iran's parliament Sunday passed a bill to reduce diplomatic and economic ties with Britain.  The British ambassador must go within two weeks, leaving a charge d'affaires to run the embassy.  Economic relations with London will also be reduced to a minimum.

Some information for this report was provided by 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 VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid