Iran to 'retaliate' on British decision
Updated: 2011-12-01 08:52
Iran's flag is seen hanging from the Iranian Embassy in central London November 30, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
TEHRAN - Iran's Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that the Islamic Republic will "retaliate" upon the British decision to expel Iranian diplomats, local media reported.
The British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday that Britain is to expel all the Iranian diplomats after some Iranian protesters stormed the British embassy in Tehran on Tuesday.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast called the British government's decision to close the Iranian embassy in London and demand all of its staff to leave the country as a " passive" and "hasty" measure, and said that "Iran, for sure, will retaliate," according to local Mehr news agency.
The British government is responsible for preserving the diplomatic properties of the Islamic Republic in London, Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.
The Islamic Republic, emphasizing its international obligations, considers any incursion to the diplomats and diplomatic places as actions against international conventions and unacceptable, he said.
"What happened (on Tuesday) to the British embassy in Tehran was an unpredictable incident which was followed by the anger of the protesters over the British government's attitude towards Iran, " the spokesman said, adding that the judiciary is dealing with the violators to the embassy.
On Tuesday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry expressed regret over the protesters' storming into the British embassy and the ensuing incidents.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the ministry said that it respects international regulations concerning the security of diplomatic centers and emphasizes its obligations to ensure the security of diplomats and diplomatic places in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
On Wednesday, Hague said the majority of demonstrators were from a student Basij militia organization, and it was "clear from the outset that this is an organization controlled by elements of the Iranian regime."
He added that all the British diplomatic staff in Tehran had been evacuated and the embassy closed.
"As of the last few minutes all our UK-based staff have now left Iran," Hague said, "If any country makes it impossible for us to operate on their soil they cannot expect to have a functioning embassy here."