Brits Held Hostage in Tehran? British Flag Burned – Molotov Cocktails Fly

An Iranian news source reported that six British citizens from the British Embassy in Tehran were held by protesters, but then the announcement disappeared from the website. Iranians don’t like the recent sanctions against the rogue Nation. The imprisonment of American Embassy workers for 444 days, beginning in November 1979 should be fresh in our minds everyday. Iran suffered no consequences for the fate of those Americans, and the days of their lives stolen from them. There should be no Western embassy presence in these hostile countries. History shows that we gain nothing but grief from it. Diplomacy with uncivilized world leaders is a cruel joke. Video added below. See continuing updates below.

The attacks followed the rapid approval by Iran’s Guardian Council of a parliamentary bill compelling the government to expel the British ambassador in retaliation for the sanctions. A lawmaker had also warned Sunday that angry Iranians could storm the British Embassy as they did the U.S. mission in 1979.

Several dozen protesters broke away from a crowd of a few hundred protesters outside the main embassy compound in downtown Tehran, scaled the embassy gates and went inside.

Protesters pulled down the British flag, burned it, and put up the Iranian flag, Iranian news agencies and news pictures showed. Inside, the demonstrators threw stones and petrol bombs. One waved a framed picture of Queen Elizabeth, state TV showed.

Others carried the royal crest out through the embassy gate as police stood by, pictures carried by the official Fars news agency showed.

The British Foreign Office said it was outraged.

“There has been a incursion by a significant number of demonstrators into our Embassy premises, including vandalism to our property,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. “This is a fluid situation and details are still emerging. We are outraged by this. It is utterly unacceptable and we condemn it.

The Iranian government had a duty under international law to protect diplomats and London expected it to bring the situation under control and ensure the safety of the staff, the Foreign Office said.

Demonstrators waved flags symbolizing martyrdom and held up portraits of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Source: Reuters

Aljazeera reports chants of “Death to America,” “Death to England,” “Death to Israel.”

Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari, reporting from Tehran, said that the police and various ministries had prior knowledge of the protest, which was organised by the student arm of the Basij armed group

“Any such action of this could scale can never be independent in the Islamic Republic. These gatherings are always approved by higher officials,” said Jabbari.

In an appearance on state television on Sunday, Sardar Mohamad Reza Naghdi, the commander of the Basij, said that the unit was “counting the moments” until it could strike against “Zionist forces”.

UPDATE 11-29-11 @ 11:06 am CDT: This article says Iranian police rescued 6 British hostages.

Protester Waves Queen’s Portrait (video)

The bottom line is, we don’t know if British citizens are held hostage or not. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: 11-29-11: Reported now that Iranian police “rescued” 6 Brits.

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Photo Credit: Reuters

P osted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook