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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Britain brings home diplomatic staff, expels all Iranian diplomats

Following the Iranian attack on Britain's embassy in Tehran on Tuesday, Britain has shut down its embassy in Tehran and removed all its diplomats. Then it shut down the Iranian embassy in London and gave Iran's diplomats 48 hours to leave.

JPost reports that according to Der Spiegel, Germany has also recalled its ambassador to Tehran for consultations, and according to Israel Radio a long list of European countries called in Iran's ambassadors in their capitals on Wednesday to protest the attack in Tehran on Tuesday, and Italy is considering closing its embassy in Tehran.

According to this report, Norway has closed its embassy in Tehran and Germany has recalled its ambassador for consultations. If the Germans close their embassy, that would be very significant - Germany is Iran's largest trading partner in Europe doing $4 billion per year.

But JPost reports that Britain made clear that it is not cutting off relations with Tehran.
"If any country makes it impossible for us to operate on their soil they cannot expect to have a functioning embassy here," [Foreign Secretary William] Hague said.

"This does not amount to the severing of diplomatic relations in their entirety. It is action that reduces our relations with Iran to the lowest level consistent with the maintenance of diplomatic relations," he added.

Hague said it was "fanciful" to think the Iranian authorities could not have protected the British embassy, or that the assault could have taken place without "some degree of regime consent".

He said European Union foreign ministers would discuss the embassy attack at a meeting in Brussels later on Wednesday and on Thursday. The EU ministers would discuss "further action which needs to be taken in the light of Iran's continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons program," he said.
Let's go to the videotape.

There's a summary of other European reactions to Tuesday's events in Tehran here.

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At 9:18 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Carl.
1830 GMT: The Embassy Attack. The co-ordinated European response continues --- France has now announced the withdrawal of its ambassador from Tehran.



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