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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
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.
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.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


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