Several hundred Iranian militia students, protected by the regime security forces stormed and ransacked the British embassy and residence compounds on Tuesday in Tehran, apparently in response to new economic sanctions over the regime’s nuclear program.
The attack comes after the regime’s Islamic Assembly voted to expel the UK ambassador and reduce diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom following London’s support of recently upgraded Western sanctions on Tehran, The Associated Press reported.
Militant students were shown on the state-controlled TV smashing embassy windows with rocks, hurling petrol bombs and shouting “death to England,” according to the BBC. The students also ransacked offices within the compound, burning and confiscating documents. The British flag was taken down, burnt, and replaced with the regime of Islamic Republic of Iran’s flag.
The occupiers called for the closure of the embassy, calling it a “spy den” — the same phrase used after militants stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 hostages for 444 days.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office immediately denounced the riot, saying the regime in Iran has a “clear duty” under international law to protect diplomats and offices.
Britain has closed its embassy in Iran and withdrew all of its diplomats, insisting that Iranian regime follow suit by closing its London embassy immediately and withdrawing its diplomats in the next 48 hours.
The embassy attack also resulted in international outrage, and several countries recalled their ambassadors from Tehran, including France, Germany, Holland and Norway among others.
The UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned the storming of two British diplomatic compounds in Tehran and urged regime’s authorities to protect diplomats, the council president said.
A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the attack by protesters on two British diplomatic compounds was a “totally unacceptable incursion”. “We strongly condemn this totally unacceptable incursion and call on the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran immediately to fulfil its international obligations… to protect diplomats and embassies.” the statement read.
Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan also issued statement condemning the attack on the UK embassy in Tehran, and described the embassy take-over “an inexcusable act contrary to diplomatic norms and impunity” the statement read.
“Considering international rules and diplomatic norms and the implacability of this attack, PDKI condemns the attack on the British embassy in Tehran, and considers it in line with those irresponsible and unfitting behaviours which have become business as usual for the regime of Islamic Republic with devastating end results for the people of Iran.” the statement added
In regards to the role of the Iranian authorities William Hague told parliament that “The idea that the Iranian authorities could not have protected our embassy, or that this assault could have taken place without some degree of regime consent, is fanciful,”
The consensus is that the people who attacked the British embassy were members of the Basij, a paramilitary volunteer militia mostly made up of young people who take their orders from the Revolutionary Guards, a branch of the regime’s military that is ostensibly under the command of the regime’s supreme leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Globe and Mail reported.
The PDKI Executive Bureau statement also calls attention to the regime’s oppressive security forces that recognize no borders in cracking down civilian dissent while deliberately failing to protect diplomatic missions. “In light of the international treaties and the Vienna Conventions, the protection of such compounds is the responsibility of the regime of Islamic Republic; however, the regime’s security forces who exercise full expertise and power in clamping down on the people of Iran, demonstrated their indifference in response to this unwarranted act .”