Following attack on U.K. embassy in Tehran, British Foreign Secretary Hague says his country closed its Iran embassy, now orders Iran to immediately close its embassy in London.
Britain has told Iran to close its embassy in London within 48 hours, Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament in London Wednesday.
He said Britain had closed its embassy in Tehran and evacuated all staff.
“The Iranian charge (d’affaires) in London is being informed now that we require the immediate closure of the Iranian embassy in London and that all Iranian diplomatic staff must leave the United Kingdom within the next 48 hours,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament.
“We have now closed the British embassy in Tehran. We have decided to evacuate all our staff and as of the last few minutes, the last of our UK-based staff have now left Iran,” he said.
Iranian protesters stormed two British Embassy compounds in Tehran on Tuesday, smashing windows, hurling petrol bombs and burning the British flag during a rally to protest against sanctions imposed by Britain, live Iranian television showed.
Meanwhile, German media reported Wednesday that Germany has recalled its ambassador to Iran for consultation after the British diplomatic mission in Tehran was stormed on Tuesday.
Moreover, Italy’s foreign minister also announced Wednesday that his country is considering closing its embassy in Tehran.
The attacks followed the rapid approval by Iran’s Guardian Council of a parliamentary bill compelling the government to expel the British ambassador in retaliation for the sanctions, and warnings from a lawmaker that angry Iranians could storm the British embassy as they did to the U.S. mission in 1979.
The incident followed Britain’s imposition of new sanctions on the Islamic state last week over its nuclear program.
London banned all British financial institutions from doing business with their Iranian counterparts, including the Central Bank of Iran, as part of a new wave of sanctions by Western countries.
In London, Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain expected other countries to follow its lead in imposing financial sanctions on Iran and will take “robust” action if Tehran reduces their diplomatic relations.
Hague was speaking in a parliamentary debate as news broke of the incident in Tehran but he made no comment on it.
UK expels Iranian ambassador
Following storming of UK Embassy in Tehran, London closes down Iranian Embassy, expels all Iranian diplomats
Britain will expel all Iranian diplomats stationed in London following the storming of its embassy in Tehran on Tuesday, Foreign Secretary William Hague announced Wednesday.
Iranian diplomats of all levels were give 48 hours to leave Britain.
Hague told the British Parliament that Iranian ambassadors across Europe have been summoned to receive strong protests over the raid.
“They cannot expect to have a functioning embassy here,” he said, adding that despite the move, the UK was still “not severing ties with Iran entirely.” Still, relations between London and Tehran have now been downgraded to the lowest level.
Earlier Wednesday, London announced it was closing down its embassy in Iran and withdrawing all British diplomats stationed in the Islamic Republic. Shortly after, Hague ordered the immediate closure of the Iranian Embassy in London, effectively expelling all diplomatic staff.
Iran’s parliament had previously voted to reduce diplomatic ties with the UK.
Tuesday’s attack, which saw hundreds of protesters storm the British embassy followed Britain’s decision to impose further sanctions on Iran over its adamant refusal to suspend its nuclear program.
Paris strongly condemned the raid and has summoned Iran’s current senior envoy to the French capital over the incident.
French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bernard Valero indicated that the Iranian Charge d’Affaires Amir Miri has been called in to the Ministry and was told that France “very firmly condemns the attack and unacceptable pillage” at the British mission. Germany also summoned the Iranian ambassador to Berlin over the storming of the British embassy in Tehran, saying Iran was bound under international law to protect foreign missions.
“I gave the order today for the Iranian ambassador to be summoned to the Foreign Ministry,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters after talks with his Greek counterpart Stavros Dimas.
Germany has also recalled its ambassador from Iran for consultations
Former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband urges condemnations of Iran not to lead to a “drumbeat of war”. William Hague says the UK is not advocating military action in Iran.