Protest in Iran targets British Embassy

About 200 students threw rocks and firecrackers at the British Embassy on Sunday, calling for the expulsion of the country's ambassador because of the standoff over Iran's capture of 15 British sailors and marines.

Protest in Iran targets British Embassy

Petrolbombs and rocks have been thrown at the British embassy in Tehran during a rally supporting thedetention of 15 British sailors and marines.

About 200people also threw firecrackers at the embassy on Sunday and calledfor the expulsion of Geoffrey Adams, Britain's ambassador.



Theprotesters chanted "death to Britain"and "death to America"as they hurled stones into the embassy's courtyard.

Britain's foreign office said nobody washurt and there was no damage.




Witnessessaid demonstrators approached a barrier near the embassy and crossed into linesof police before being pushed back.

ManouchehrMottaki, the Iranian foreign minister, said on state television his governmentwas waiting for Britain toshow a balanced stance over Iran'slegal demands.

TheIranians have demanded an apology which acknowledges the British troopsillegally entered Iran'sterritorial waters.

Britain denies the accusation and saysthe sailors were seized in Iraqi waters.

Iran also sent a letter to the British embassy in Tehran on Saturday complaining about shots fired byBritish troops near its consulate in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

Iran previously accused British forcesof surrounding the consulate on Thursday and firing into the air in aprovocative act, which the British military has denied.

Basra shootings

Iran'sISNA news agency on Sunday quoted a foreign ministry official as saying: "Iran asked Britainto prevent any such actions from happening again and asked for the Britishsoldiers in Iraqto respect international regulations applied to diplomatic places."

The Britishmilitary said the shots heard came from a British convoy that was ambushed inthe same street as the consulate in central Basra.

In his first commetns on the capture of the Royal Navysailors George Bush, the USpresident, on Saturday demanded Iranrelease the sailors.

Bush said at a news conference: "I support theBlair government's attempts to resolve this peacefully. And I support the primeminister when he made it clear there were no quid pro quos. The Iranians mustgive back the hostages.

"The British hostages issue is a serious issuebecause the Iranians took these people out of Iraqi water, and it's inexcusablebehaviour."


Ali Reza, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tehran, said Bush's use of the term "hostages"will likely further infuriate Mahmoud Ahmedinejad,Iran's president, who haslabelled Britainas "arrogant" for failing to apologise.

Reza said: "Demands from the European Union thatthey are freed immediately and unconditionally are only antagonising thesituation".

Mohammad Ali Hosseini, a spokesman for the Iranianforeign ministry, said: "The recent stance of the European Union officialsregarding this issue will not help in solving the problem, but instead it willcomplicate the issue and might even make it last even longer."

Iran'sambassador to Russiajhas said the 15 could be tried for violating international law.

Britain saidon Saturday that it had sent a letter of response to accusations of"trespassing" in Iranian waters.

Mediation offer

Terry Waite, who was heldcaptive for almost five years in Lebanon the country's civilwar, has offered his services to help settle the issue.

Waite said:"I would hope that the Iranians would behave in thesame courteous way to me as they've behaved before, would perhaps give meaccess to the people they've detained just to be assured of their welfare, sothat that could be conveyed to their families, and begin to see if we can finda sensible way through this problem."

Reza said Tehranmaintains that what the sailors did was wrong, that they have confessed totheir actions and foreign interference will achieve little to secure theirrelease.






Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16