World News: Young Iranian Men Storm U.K. EmbassyNovember 29, 2011 No Comments
Young Iranian men storm U.K. embassy
November 29, 2011 | (Catholic Online)
Throwing rocks and chanting slogans, dozens of young Iranian men stormed the U.K. embassy and a diplomatic compound in Tehran. Throwing petrol bombs and burning documents, the men chanted “Death to America”, “Death to England” and “Death to Israel” among other slogans.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – A news agency reported that security forces were trying to eject the protesters, who were a minority from a larger group staging an anti-U.K. demonstration outside the embassy.
Live television coverage showed several of the men, described as students on top of the embassy’s entry gate waving Islamic flags. One protester was seen waving a framed picture of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, apparently pilfered from an office inside.
There were reports that the protesters who were initially cleared out of the embassy re-entered the embassy grounds for a third time, saying that they would not leave until they received direct orders from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hossein Khamenei.
The British foreign ministry issued a statement saying the demonstration was “utterly unacceptable and we condemn it.”
According to the Al Jazeera news agency, police and various ministries had prior knowledge of the protest, which was organized by the student arm of the Basij armed group. “Any such action of this could scale can never be independent in the Islamic Republic,” said an Al Jazeera correspondent. “These gatherings are always approved by higher officials.”
Sardar Mohamad Reza Naghdi, the commander of the Basij, said that the unit was “counting the moments” until it could strike against “Zionist forces.”
Six British embassy workers were also reportedly freed by Iranian security forces and turned over to U.K. government representatives.
According the British government, all U.K. embassy staff in Tehran and their families are accounted for.
U.K. Foreign Minister William Hague added that “he wouldn’t describe a hostage situation, but that U.K. embassy staff was protected by Iranian police.”
Iran’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying it regretted the attack against the embassy, and that Tehran is committed to the safety of diplomats. Hague rejected the statement, denouncing Iran for “its failure to take adequate measures to protect our embassy, as it is required to do.”
The incident followed Britain’s imposition of new sanctions on the Islamic state last week over its nuclear program. The British government has banned all U.K. financial institutions from doing business with their Iranian counterparts, including the Iran’s central bank, as part of a new wave of sanctions by Western countries.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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