EU condemns storming of British mission in Iran

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European Union foreign ministers denounced on Thursday the storming of the British embassy in Tehran and warned that the EU was taking "appropriate" measures in response.

The ministers said in a statement that they were "outraged by the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran and utterly condemns it," adding that it was a violation of the Vienna Convention requiring Iran to protect foreign embassies.

The EU council of ministers "also deplores the decision to expel the British ambassador from Tehran," the statement said.

"The council considers these actions against the UK as actions against the European Union as a whole. The EU is taking appropriate measures in response," it added.

The statement did not specify what those would be.

The ministers also adopted new sanctions against Iran, placing travel bans and assets freezes and 180 companies and people directly involved in the country's disputed nuclear programme.

Iranian protesters raided Britain's embassy and another diplomatic compound on Tuesday, trashing offices, stealing documents and defying police efforts to remove them.

In response, Britain closed its mission in Tehran and ordered Wednesday that Iran's embassy in London be closed within 48 hours.

France, Germany and the Netherlands recalled their ambassadors from Tehran for consultations while Norway temporarily closed its mission there.

© 2011 AFP

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