UN Council condemns storming of British embassy

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The UN Security Council strongly condemned the storming of Britain's embassy in Tehran and warned Iran that it must protect diplomatic personnel.

"The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attacks" against the British embassy in Tehran, said a statement agreed by the 15-nation body.

Highlighting the Vienna conventions which protect diplomats, the council "called on the Iranian authorities to protect diplomatic and consular property and personnel, and to respect fully their international obligations in this regard."

The council made no threat of action against Iran. Security Council statements must be unanimously agreed by council members and carry less weight than a formal resolution.

The Security Council has passed four rounds of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

The statement was agreed on the sidelines of regular Security Council meetings just after protesters stormed Britain's embassy and another diplomatic compound in Tehran, trashing offices, stealing documents and defying police efforts to remove them.

Among the five permanent members of the council, Britain, France, the United States and Russia all condemned the protests individually.

"The responsibility for the protection of diplomats and diplomatic premises is up to the host government and in this case we expect Iran to live up to its obligations," UN deputy spokesman, Eduardo del Buey told a press briefing when asked about the Tehran protests.

© 2011 AFP

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