Iran FM regrets storming of British embassy

Last Updated: Monday, December 12, 2011 - 00:29

Salehi, on Sunday reiterated that he regretted last month`s
storming of the British embassy in Tehran, but asserted that
the incident was "not foreseeable."

"The incursion into the embassy was not foreseeable...
The protest had the necessary permission and was supposed to
be held within the law," he said, according to the Mehr news
agency.

"However, we regret what happened, which in my view was
not called for," he was quoted as saying.

Britain closed its embassy in Tehran the day after the
November 29 assault on the mission by Iranian pro-regime
protesters, saying that they could have only acted with the
consent of the Iranian authorities.

It also ordered Iran`s embassy in London closed, and
reduced diplomatic ties to the minimum.

International outrage at the attack was widespread and
raised already high tensions over Iran`s controversial nuclear
programme.

Iranian officials, who supported the demonstration in
front of the British embassy to express anger over new Western
sanctions levelled at Tehran, have been sending mixed messages
over the storming of the embassy.

Salehi and the foreign ministry from the start expressed
regret at the attack.

But parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani and influential
clerics have defended the protesters` actions, saying they
were furious at decades of British meddling in Iran.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other top leaders have
stayed silent on the attack.

Salehi implied that British officials had overreacted by
withdrawing its diplomats from Tehran, accusing them of
"becoming more Catholic than the Pope," according to Mehr.

He also criticised Britain`s decision to cut off all
contact with Iran`s financial sector, including its central
bank, as part of the new unilateral sanctions.

PTI



First Published: Monday, December 12, 2011 - 00:13

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