News / Middle East

US, UN Condemn Attack on British Embassy in Tehran

The United States and the U.N. Security Council have joined Britain in condemning Tuesday’s mob attack on the British embassy in Tehran. U.S. officials say the incident may mean that nuclear-related sanctions on Iran are beginning to have a serious impact.

The attack on the British diplomatic complex in Tehran, by what were described as hard-line students, evoked memories of the 1979 seizure and occupation of the U.S. embassy there.

It drew a sharp response from the White House, which condemned the action “in the strongest terms” and stressed Iran’s responsibility under international protocols to protect diplomatic missions and personnel.

President Obama, in a photo session with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, said he was disturbed by what he termed the “trashing” the British facility.

Unlike the 1979 attack, in which more than 50 Americans were held hostage for more than a year, all British personnel were reported safe late Tuesday though protestors entered offices, broke windows and tossed documents around the grounds.

State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said it was probably no coincidence the attack followed Britain’s announcement last week of fresh sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program.

“They need to uphold their obligations under the Vienna conventions. And they need to protect the security and safety of diplomats in Tehran. It’s hard to say frankly. But we do believe that taken in their totality, the economic sanctions against Iran are beginning to have an effect. It’s been acknowledged as much by President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad,” Toner said.

The U.N. Security Council approved a non-binding statement that condemned the embassy attack and called  on Iran to fully comply with international obligations. Russia and China, which have resisted additional Security Council sanctions on Tehran, joined in the unanimous vote on the document.

A senior State Department official who spoke to reporters said it was “hard to imagine” the attack did not have at least tacit support of some Iranian officials.

Iran expert Michael Rubin, resident scholar at Washington’s American Enterprise Institute, said Iranian police could have pushed the protestors back rather than “giving way.” He said the notion Tuesday’s attack was spontaneous has “no credibility.”

Rubin said Iran’s Islamic government has a history of threats to diplomatic property in Tehran and only a united approach by the world community can end it.

“Ultimately, solidarity matters. Certainly the Iranians have never been called to account for seizing embassies - be it the American embassy, being it attacking in the past the British or the German embassies, or now taking the British embassy. Simply put, Iran needs to be isolated diplomatically - and completely - until they learn that they have to respect embassies,” Rubin said.

The former Pentagon official said Tuesday’s attack, in the wake of the British sanctions move, suggests Iran fears economic isolation much more than diplomatic isolation and that perhaps “it is time to enforce both.”

You May Like

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs