Germany recalls Iran ambassador for 'consultations'

30th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany on Wednesday recalled its ambassador to Iran for "consultations" over what it called the "unacceptable" storming of the British embassy in Tehran by protesters.

"In light of yesterday's events in Tehran, Foreign Minister (Guido) Westerwelle decided that the German ambassador in Iran should be recalled to Berlin for consultations," a ministry spokesman said in a brief statement.

Earlier, Tehran's envoy to Berlin was summoned to the foreign ministry over Tuesday's incident, in which protesters raided Britain's embassy and another diplomatic compound, trashing offices, stealing documents and defying police efforts to remove them.

A state secretary at the ministry, Emily Haber, told the ambassador that the storming of the mission marked a "gross violation of international law" which Germany condemned "in the strongest terms", the ministry said in a separate statement.

Westerwelle late Tuesday slammed the incident as "unacceptable" and noted that international law dictates the protection of foreign embassies.

Britain closed its Tehran embassy Wednesday after evacuating all its diplomats from Iran as part of a "very tough" response.

Iran's foreign ministry expressed "regret" over the incident, and deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan was quoted by IRNA state news agency as saying a number of protesters had been arrested and others were being sought.

Germany is one of six world powers trying to convince Iran to abandon sensitive nuclear work, which they fear is part of an attempt to acquire an atomic bomb.

Tehran insists its nuclear programme is purely aimed at meeting its civilian energy needs.

© 2011 AFP

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