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Iranian students storm UK Embassy in Tehran

(Shanghai Daily)

08:03, November 30, 2011

Iranian protesters clash with riot police as they try to enter the British Embassy in Tehran yesterday. Dozens of protesters stormed the embassy, tearing down the Union Flag, throwing rocks and petrol bombs and burning documents looted from offices.(Shnaghai Daily Photo)

HARD-LINE Iranian protesters stormed the British Embassy in Tehran yesterday, tearing down the Union Flag, burning an embassy vehicle and throwing documents from windows in scenes reminiscent of the seizing of the United States compound in 1979.

The protesters surged past riot police into the complex - which they pelted with petrol bombs and stones - two days after Iran's parliament approved a bill that reduces diplomatic relations with Britain following London's support of upgraded Western sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

Flames shot out of a sport utility vehicle parked outside the brick building. Demonstrators outside the embassy also burned British flags and clashed with police at a rally which had been organized by student groups at universities and seminaries.

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 had 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."

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