The United States and the U.N. Security Council have joined Britain in condemning Tuesday’s mob attack on the British embassy in Tehran. U.S. officials say the incident may mean that nuclear-related sanctions on Iran are beginning to have a serious impact.
The attack on the British diplomatic complex in Tehran, by what were described as hard-line students, evoked memories of the 1979 seizure and occupation of the U.S. embassy there.
It drew a sharp response from the White House, which condemned the action “in the strongest terms” and stressed Iran’s responsibility under international protocols to protect diplomatic missions and personnel.
President Obama, in a photo session with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, said he was disturbed by what he termed the “trashing” the British facility.
Unlike the 1979 attack, in which more than 50 Americans were held hostage for more than a year, all British personnel were reported safe late Tuesday though protestors entered offices, broke windows and tossed documents around the grounds.
State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said it was probably no coincidence the attack followed Britain’s announcement last week of fresh sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program.
“They need to uphold their obligations under the Vienna conventions. And they need to protect the security and safety of diplomats in Tehran. It’s hard to say frankly. But we do believe that taken in their totality, the economic sanctions against Iran are beginning to have an effect. It’s been acknowledged as much by President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad,” Toner said.
The U.N. Security Council approved a non-binding statement that condemned the embassy attack and called on Iran to fully comply with international obligations. Russia and China, which have resisted additional Security Council sanctions on Tehran, joined in the unanimous vote on the document.
Source: Voice of America | David Gollust