A small group of protesters, most of whom were reported to be women, destroyed an Iranian police post protecting the French embassy in Tehran on Tuesday and threw stones at visitors before being arrested, a diplomat inside the embassy told AFP.
The violent demonstration lasted 90 minutes and involved around 15 people, the French diplomat said.
“There was no damage to the embassy itself,” he said. However, the visitors, all of whom were Iranians applying for French visas, were forced to take refuge inside.
The diplomat said the protest happened suddenly, without advance notice, and as a result, there was no added police presence.
He said the protesters yelled “Allah is greatest,” but he was unable to discern any other slogan, according to AFP.
He stressed, “It is up to the Iranian authorities to ensure our security.”
Just prior to the attack on the French embassy, a larger demonstration was held at the nearby Tehran University, during which protesters shouted “Death to America,” “Death to Israel” and “Those who insult the prophet should be executed,” according to the Fars news agency.
Last year, Britain closed its embassy after it was stormed by protesters during a state-sanctioned demonstration. Canada last month also closed its mission in Tehran, citing concerns for the safety of its diplomats.
In 1979, following Iran’s Islamic revolution, students broke into the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans inside hostage for 444 days, leading to a rupture in U.S.-Iran diplomatic ties.
Then President Jimmy Carter called the hostages "victims of terrorism and anarchy", saying that the "United States will not yield to blackmail".