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Embassy attack: Britain expels all Iranian diplomats

Britain has expelled all Iranian diplomats from its territory after the British embassy in Tehran was stormed by a crowd, said the British foreign secretary William Hague.

world Updated: Dec 01, 2011 07:41 IST

Britain has expelled all Iranian diplomats from its territory after the British embassy in Tehran was stormed by a crowd, said the British foreign secretary William Hague.

Hague told the country's Parliament on Wednesday that the foreign office demanded "the immediate closure of Iranian embassy in London".

"Staff must leave within the next 48 hours," he added. "If any country makes it impossible for us to operate on their soil they cannot expect to have a functioning embassy here."

Britain evacuated all its diplomats from Iran on Wednesday.

"It is not possible to maintain an embassy under these circumstance and these threats and actions," Hague told members of the parliament.

Iranian protesters stormed the British Embassy in Tehran Tuesday after rallying against sanctions the Britain imposed on Iran earlier this month.

The crowd, mostly students, attacked the embassy compound, tore down the British flag and replaced it with Iran's.

They also ransacked offices in the compound, throwing stones and cocktails at embassy buildings, which caused a fire in one of them.

The attack was part of a larger demonstration that followed a decision by the Iranian authorities to expel the British ambassador from the country within 15 days.

Iran's foreign ministry on Tuesday expressed regret over the protests.