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).
The embassy compounds were stormed during a street demonstration in which windows were smashed, a car torched and the British flag burned in protest of new sanctions imposed by London against Iran.
Two days earlier, Iran’s parliament had approved a bill to reduce diplomatic and economic ties with Britain, including forcing out the British ambassador within two weeks, in retaliation to the sanctions.
The Spectator says Iran is lashing out through the use of state-sanctioned and illegal violence:
This time Britain was the target, as a government-controlled mob ransacked the compound in which the British Embassy sits. The Iranian state would have the outside world believe that—while it is capable of preventing the green movement from gathering, harassing pro-democracy protesters and imprisoning activists—it was powerless to stop the ransacking of the British Embassy. As Foreign Secretary William Hague put it in a calm and purposeful statement to the House, such a notion is “fanciful.”
While many commentators see such action by the Iranian regime as a last-ditch effort to fend off inevitable defeat, we know from Bible prophecy that Iran will do a whole lot more pushing—against Europe in particular—before it comes to a crushing defeat. ▪