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Britain to expel Iranian diplomats over embassy attack: foreign secretary

(Xinhua)

10:46, December 01, 2011

LONDON, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Britain is to expel all Iranian diplomats following the storming of its embassy in Tehran on Tuesday, the British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday.

He said he had ordered the immediate closure of the Iranian embassy in London and demanding all its staff to leave the country within 48 hours.

Hague said the majority of demonstrators were from a student Basij militia organisation, and it is "clear from the outset that this is an organisation controlled by elements of the Iranian regime."

He added that all British diplomatic staff in Tehran had been evacuated and the embassy closed.

"As of the last few minutes all our UK-based staff have now left Iran," Hague said. "If any country makes it impossible for us to operate on their soil they cannot expect to have a functioning embassy here."

However, he said Britain was not severing relations with Iran entirely.

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