News ID: 211421
Published: 1000 GMT March 10, 2018

Iran summons British envoy over attack on London embassy

Iran summons British envoy over attack on London embassy

Iran summoned the British ambassador to Tehran over an attack on the Islamic Republic's diplomatic mission in London.

"Following an assault by a number of individuals affiliated to an extremist religious group on the Islamic Republic of Iran's Embassy in London, the country's ambassador was summoned by the director general for Europe affairs [at the Iranian Foreign Ministry] today," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday.

He added that the Iranian official expressed Tehran’s strong protest over the incident and called on the British government to fulfill its duties to protect diplomats and diplomatic missions and increase the security measures for the Islamic Republic's missions.

The British envoy, in turn, expressed his regret over the attack and offered a report on the British police's measures to arrest the attackers.

He said he would immediately inform his country of Iran’s message.

A number of attackers scaled the wall of Iran's Embassy building in London on Friday and took down the Iranian flag.

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that British police carried out no measure to protect the compound during the attack.

Qassemi on Friday strongly condemned the attack on the Islamic Republic's Embassy in London, urging swift action to counter the attackers.

Immediately after receiving news of the assault, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi voiced Tehran's strong protest to the British ambassador to Tehran, he added.


'UK laxity to blame'


A senior aide to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution on Saturday lashed out at the British government for failing to fulfill its duty to protect the Iranian Embassy in the UK following the attack.

"Certainly, the British government is responsible for maintaining security for political missions in this country, including Iran's Embassy in London," Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior international affairs adviser to Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, told reporters in Tehran.

He added that the British government had fallen short of carrying out its responsibility to prevent a number of foreign agents from carrying out the assault.

It is not unlikely that the attackers had had links with certain movements in Britain, he said.

Velayati emphasized that the UK government must be held accountable for its failure to prevent the attack on the Iranian Embassy.


Inviolability of the embassy


In a post on his official Twitter account on Saturday, Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad said the assailants represented an "extremist Shia community."

"They have a sectarian interpretation of Shia and insist on insulting the grand Sunni leaders," the Iranian envoy said.

He, however, emphasized that the British government "has an unwavering commitment to assure the inviolability of the embassy."

Also, a senior Iranian lawmaker said on Saturday that all the responsibility for ensuring the safety of Iran’s Embassy in London or anywhere else fell on the government of the country hosting the mission.

“Therefore, the British government must take full responsibility for the attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran's Embassy and fulfill its responsibilities," Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi added.

He emphasized that the assault could not have happened without the approval or deliberate oversight of the British security guards and police.

The Iranian legislator said the attack was nothing but a stunt and an act of propaganda.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Friday announced that the attackers, who had climbed on the balcony of the Iranian Embassy in London, were arrested.

Qassemi called for the trial and punishment of the perpetrators of the assault.





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