Britain has closed its embassy in Tehran and expelled all Iranian diplomats from London after the British Embassy and residential compound in Iran was stormed and ransacked on Tuesday. Both properties were severely damaged, with official and personal possessions seized or destroyed. One member of staff described the damage as “carnage.”
While police secured the release of six embassy staff who were taken by the protesters and Iran’s Foreign Ministry said it regretted the incident, the students who carried out the attack included members of the paramilitary Basij militia and carried banners naming Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, which runs the overseas operations of the Revolutionary Guard. “This may not have been a government-sanctioned operation,” writes the Guardian, “but it was an official one, with three conservative institutions, the parliament, the judiciary and the supreme leader, behind it” (November 29).