FM 'Gravely Concerned' Over UK Embassy Attack in Iran
The government is 'gravely concerned' about the attacks on the British embassies in Iran, which constitute a serious breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, said Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis.
"Cyprus expresses its disappointment for the lack of prompt reaction by the Iranian authorities to prevent the attacks," she said.
The minister called on the Iranian authorities to carry a full investigation into the events and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
"Cyprus believes that such events would only harm EU efforts to engage with Iran in a constructive dialogue on serious issues of concern,” she said.
The UK government has demanded that Iran immediately close its embassy in London and has expelled all Iranian diplomatic staff in the wake of the November 29th attack on the British embassy in Tehran, said Foreign Secretary William Hague in a speech to the House of Commons.
This reduces UK relations with Iran to the lowest level: "we wish to make absolutely clear to Iran and to any other nation that such action against our Embassies and such a flagrant breach of international responsibilities is totally unacceptable to the United Kingdom," said Hague. An apology from Iranian diplomats was noted but essentially dismissed by Hague, who also said that all British embassy staff have been withdrawn from Iran.
Hague will attend the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels to discuss the events and further action in the light of Iran’s continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons programme, he said.
The foreign secretary was outraged by the attacks on both UK embassies in Tehran by around 200 students belonging to the Basij militia organisation.
"We should be clear from the outset that this is an organisation controlled by elements of the Iranian regime," said Hague.
On November 27th, Iran's Parliament voted to expel British Ambassador Dominick John Chilcott after the UK cut off banking ties with the country over concerns that its nuclear programme may have military dimensions.
Relations between the two countries have worsened since the UK imposed tough new financial restrictions against Iran and cut off all financial ties with Iranian banks.
This followed the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) latest report on Iran, which highlights fresh concerns about the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme. It is the first time that the UK has used these powers to cut an entire country’s banking sector off from its financial sector.
Hague said that the IAEA's report "provided further credible and detailed evidence about the possible military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear programme."
From 15:00 Monday 21 November 2011, all UK credit and financial institutions were required to cease business relationships and transactions with all Iranian banks, including the Central Bank of Iran, and their branches and subsidiaries.
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