TEHRAN, Iran (MCT) — In scenes that evoked the seizing of the U.S. Embassy in 1979, hundreds of demonstrators stormed two British diplomatic compounds in Tehran on Tuesday, hurling gasoline bombs, ransacking offices and tearing down the British flag.
The hours-long attacks, which followed a move by the Iranian parliament to expel Britain’s ambassador over new sanctions, marked a sharp escalation in the tension between Iran and the West over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
Britain promised “serious consequences” and summoned Iran’s charges d’affaires in London to the Foreign Office. The incident also drew rebukes form the United States, France and the U.N. Security Council.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry expressed regret for “the unacceptable behaviors” by some demonstrators and said it had requested an immediate investigation.
The protest was organized to mark the anniversary of the death of nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari in an attack Iran blamed on British and Israeli intelligence agencies.