Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Iranian "students" storm British embassy in Tehran

From NYT:

In the latest sign of deteriorating relations with the West, a group of Iranian protesters stormed the British Embassy compound in Tehran on Tuesday, chanting “death to England,” tearing down a British flag and ransacking offices, according to British officials and images broadcast live on state-run Iranian television.

One Iranian news agency said six embassy workers had been taken hostage , but withdrew the report from its Web site minutes later with no explanation, Reuters reported. The semi-official Mehr news agency initially said: “Students from universities in Tehran took hostage six people working for the British embassy in Qolhak garden,” referring to the compound that protesters stormed earlier on Tuesday.

The episode came a day after Iran enacted legislation to downgrade relations with Britain in retaliation for intensified sanctions imposed by Western nations last week to punish the Iranians for their suspected nuclear development program. Britain promised to respond “robustly.”

The British Foreign Office in London said in a statement Tuesday that there had been an “incursion by a significant number of demonstrators into our embassy premises, including vandalism to our property.”
Iran's Mehr News says:
Iranian students stormed the British Embassy compound in Tehran on Tuesday, smashing windows and setting the British flag on fire during a protest against new sanctions imposed on Iran by Britain.

Protesters threw petrol bombs and one waved a framed picture of Queen Elizabeth apparently found inside the compound, the Iranian TV showed.

The incident followed London's imposition of new sanctions on the Islamic Republic last week over its nuclear program.
In 1979, during the Islamic revolution in Iran, the protesters were usually referred to as "students."