Iran hardliners attack British embassy during demo    Sun. 14 Aug 2005


Iran Focus

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 nuclear capability.

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.