Thursday, December 1, 2011

Britain "holds Iranian government responsible" for storming its embassy

Iranian students try to storm the British embassy in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 29, 2011. Angry students from Iranian universities Tuesday stormed the British embassy compound in Tehran and dragged down the British flag. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
British Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed that two British embassy compounds in Tehran were stormed by several hundred people this afternoon, "putting the safety of our diplomats and their families at risk and causing extensive damage to our property."
Hague said Britain "takes this irresponsible action extremely seriously" and blamed Iran for the "grave breach of the Vienna Convention which requires the protection of diplomats and diplomatic premises under all circumstances."
Hague said he had spoken to the Iranian foreign minister "in the strongest terms" and demanded immediate steps to ensure the safety of the staff and of both embassy compounds.
"While he said that he was sorry for what had happened and that action would be taken in response, this remains a very serious failure by the Iranian government," Hague said.
The Iranian charge d'affaires in London has been summoned to the British Foreign Office, and British Prime Minister David Cameron had held a meeting of the highest level security committee to discuss the matter.
British nationals were warned against all but essential travel to Iran and any Britons in the country were advised to remain indoors.