In a continuation of the diplomatic war between Iran and Britain, the Islamic Republic warned on Wednesday that it will take measures against Britain, following its decision to close the Iranian embassy in London.
“The British government’s asking Iranian diplomats in London to leave this country is a passive and hasty action,” Ramin Mehmanparast, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, told AFP.
He added, “Obviously the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran will take reciprocal action in this regard and holds the British government responsible for protecting the diplomatic properties and belongings in London.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Britain ordered the closure of the Iranian embassy in London, and told the Iranian ambassador and his staff they have 48 hours to leave the country.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague accused the Tehran government of backing the invasion of Britain's embassy in the Iranian capital on Tuesday. A violent mob stormed through the building, smashing windows and hurling firebombs three days after the Tehran government downgraded diplomatic ties with Britain and gave the UK ambassador three days to leave Iran.
In his statement to AFP, Mehmanparast said the incident at the British embassy was “unpredictable”, adding, “It occurred due to the anger of some demonstrators over Britain’s policies regarding the Islamic republic.”
He was likely referring to Britain’s recent decision, along with the United States and Canada, to slap tougher sanctions on Iran, in another attempt to force Iran to open up its nuclear facilities for full inspection by United Nations officials.
Mehmanparast noted that none of the British diplomats were hurt in Tuesday’s incident and said the judiciary was “dealing” with the “violators.”
He added Iran “is committed to international obligations, and considers unacceptable any aggression towards diplomats and diplomatic properties.”