New York: The UN Security Council has
strongly condemned the attack on the British embassy in Tehran
and called on the Iranian authorities to ensure diplomatic and
consular property and personnel are protected.
Expressing "deep concern" at the assault by protesters
who vandalised property at the embassy compound and tore down
the Union Jack flag, the 15-nation Council called on the
Iranian authorities to "respect fully their international
obligations" to protect diplomatic personnel and property.
"The members of the Security Council recalled the
fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and
consular premises, and the obligations on host governments...
to take all appropriate steps to protect diplomatic and
consular premises against any intrusion or damage, and to
prevent any disturbance of the peace of these missions or
impairment of their dignity," Ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes
Cabral of Portugal, which holds the Council`s presidency this
month, said in a statement read out to the press.
Protesters in Tehran broke into the embassy compound
during a demonstration against sanctions imposed by the UK.
Students reportedly ransacked offices, burned the British
flag and smashed embassy windows.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the
firing of rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon.
The Secretary-General "urges all parties to exercise
maximum restraint and reminds them of their obligation to
fully... respect the cessation of hostilities agreement," a
statement from Moon`s spokesperson said.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) returned artillery fire
at the location from where the rocket fire originated.
No casualties have been reported from either side,
according to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.
"This is a serious incident in violation of UN Security
Council resolution 1701 and is clearly directed at undermining
stability in the area," UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General
Alberto Asarta Cuevas said in a statement.
Resolution 1701 ended the month-long war between Israel
and the Lebanon-based Hizbollah in 2006.
It calls for respect for the `Blue Line` separating
Israel and Lebanon, disarming of all militias in Lebanon and
an end to arms smuggling in the area.
Additional troops have been deployed on the ground and
patrols have been intensified to prevent any further
incidents, Cuevas said.