Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for November 29, 2011

Newsline: Iran students storm U.K. Embassy in Tehran

Hard-line Iranian students stormed the British diplomatic compounds inTehran on Tuesday, bringing down the Union Jack flag and throwing documents from windows in scenes reminiscent of the anger against Western powers after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The mob surged past riot police into British Embassy compound two days after Iran’s parliament approved a bill that reduces diplomatic relations withBritainfollowingLondon’s support of recently upgraded Western sanctions onTehranover its disputed nuclear program. Less than two hours later, police appeared to regain control of the site. But the official IRNA news agency said about 300 protesters entered the British ambassador’s residence in another part of the city and replaced British flags with Iranian ones. The British Foreign Office harshly denounced the melee and said Iran has a “clear duty” under international law to protect diplomats and offices. “We are outraged by this,” said the statement. “It is utterly unacceptable and we condemn it.” It said a “significant number” of protesters entered the compound and caused vandalism. The semiofficial Mehr news agency said embassy staff had left the compound before the mobs entered.




Newsline: French embassy attacker sentenced to death in Mali

A 24-year-old Tunisian was sentenced to death inMalion Tuesday for an attack on the French embassy in Bamako in January, his lawyer said. “My client, who was tried on Monday for terrorism and escaping from prison, was sentenced to death” by a court in Bamako, Bachir Simoun’s lawyer Waly Diawara told AFP. Simoun, armed with a hand gun, an explosive device and a grenade, attacked the embassy on January 5. A Malian later died of injuries sustained in the attack. Simoun escaped from prison in February while awaiting trial, but was arrested in Gao in the north of Mali two days later. Simoun had claimed membership of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, but had acted alone, according to investigators. While capital punishment can still be imposed by Malian courts, it has not been carried out for years.



Newsline: Sudan expels Kenyan ambassador after court ruling

Sudan has ordered Kenya’s ambassador to leave Khartoum and pulled its own envoy out of Nairobi after a Kenyan court ordered the government to arrest Sudan’s president, Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesman said. “Sudan has informed the ambassador of Kenya in Khartoumof a 72-hour deadline to leave the country,” Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesman El-Obeid Morawah told Reuters.