UK embassy attack orchestrated by Iranian authorities: sources
The storming of the British embassy in Tehran was not staged by a group of students expressing their indignation at UK policies, but was rather orchestrated by the Iranian authorities, sources said on Wednesday.
According to the sources, the attack was planned under the auspices of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and supervised by Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij paramilitary forces.
Photographs that depicted the attack on the embassy showed that a special force affiliated with the Basij, in addition to the other regular Basij troops, took part.
Other photos showed that revealed that members of al-Quds brigade also took part in the attack.
The sources added that two official channels broadcast the storming of the embassy live. The channels were Press T.V. and al-Alam News Network, both directly controlled by Khamenei.
According to the sources, no official channel is allowed to broadcast anything live without obtaining Khamenei’s permission. Live broadcasting usually takes place during national celebrations and Friday sermons, as well as sporting events.
It would not be possible, the sources said, to find cameras to cover protests that erupt unexpectedly or attacks on embassies, which have included the British, the Bahraini, and the Saudi embassies.
The attack, the sources said, was designed to distract the international community’s attention from the atrocities of the Syrian regime and to shift focus on a confrontation between Iran and the West. This, they say, would also put the West in a critical situation, since they would not be able to interfere in Syria and Iran at the same time.
Several Iranians criticized the attacks, which, they argued, are bound to isolate Iran and lead the West to impose additional economic sanctions, and could result in military action against the country.
The isolation has already begin on the diplomatic level, and was not only confined to the UK’s decision to close its embassy in Tehran. Norway also closed its embassy for security reasons.
The decision to close the Norwegian embassy in Tehran came late on Tuesday, said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hilde Steinfeld. She added that the Norwegian diplomatic staff have not yet been evacuated from Iran.
The Iranian parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, criticized the Security Council’s condemnation of the attack, which he said exposes the entire world to a grave threat. He also added that the Iranian police did everything in their capacity to restore security during and after the attack.
Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, described the attack on the British embassy as an “unwise step,” while the statement issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry labeled it “unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, the authorities arrested youths involved in the attack and sent 22 of them to court.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)