Tehran, Iran, Aug. 14 –
Hundreds of hard-line members of the paramilitary Bassij
in Iran rallied
outside the British embassy in Tehran on Sunday
afternoon, chanting “death to England” (sic.) and
demanding that British “spies” leave the country.
The Islamist protesters pelted the compound with stones and tomatoes,
trampled on American and Israeli flags and set them on fire.
Several embassy windows were shattered, but there was no report of embassy
staff sustaining injuries. It is not known whether Sir Richard Dalton, the
British ambassador to Iran, was in the
embassy at the time of the unruly protest.
The Bassijis were protesting against what they
described as London’s
“conspiratorial role” in securing a resolution critical of Iran’s nuclear
activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors.
The Bassij, paramilitary Islamist vigilantes
loyal to Iran’s Supreme
Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, were recently
given new powers to act as the country’s back-up police force.
Saeed Dehghan, a Majlis deputy from Tehran, addressing
the rally, criticised the European trio – France,
Germany, and the United
Kingdom – for trying to prevent Iran from acquiring
A statement was read out by the organisers of the
demonstration which denounced Europe for criticising
the Islamic Republic for resuming its suspended nuclear activities.