All British embassy staff leave Iran: Report

November 30th, 2011 - 3:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Nov 30 (IANS) All staff at the British embassy in Tehran have left the country, a day after hundreds of angry Iranians protested in front of the embassy as well as the British Council compound, state-run Iranian broadcasting network IRIB TV reported Wednesday.

The Iranian foreign ministry, however, could not confirm the reports that the British embassy staff have left the country. Calls to the British embassy in Tehran went unanswered, said Xinhua.

On Tuesday, hundreds of Iranians, most of them students, staged protests in front of the embassy in central Tehran and the British Council compound in Qolhak area in northern Tehran. Some protestors entered the embassy compound and pulled down the British flag.

The protests came a day after Iran’s highest legislative body, the Guardian Council of the Constitution, approved a bill to downgrade diplomatic ties with Britain in response to its “hostile” policy against Iran.

The UN Security Council condemned the attack on the British mission and called on Iranian authorities to protect the diplomatic staff and respect its international obligations.

A statement read out by Portuguese Ambassador to the UN Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral, who is also the Security Council president for November, said the council “condemned in the strongest terms the attacks against United Kingdom’s embassy in Tehran”.

Iran’s foreign ministry Tuesday expressed regret over the protests.

In a statement issued on its website, the ministry expressed regret over what it called “unacceptable” behaviour by the protestors, said Xinhua.

The statement said the ministry respects international regulations concerning the security of diplomatic centres and emphasises its obligations to ensure the security of diplomats and diplomatic places in the Iran.

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