The British government has shut down the Iranian embassy in London, in direct response to the storming of the British embassy in Tehran earlier this week. Foreign secretary William Hague told MPs that Iran had made it impossible for the British government to have a functioning embassy in Tehran, and that this meant Britain would no longer extend the courtesy of an embassy to the Iranians.
The move increases the tensions between the two countries at a time when there are already some pretty serious problems. Earlier this week, an angry mob stormed the British embassy in Tehran, smashing equipment, destroying documents and forcing staff to flee. The Iranian government says it was not involved in the attack, but the British seem to see that incident as – at the very least – a sign that Iran will not abide by international law.
The decision to shut down Iran’s embassy in London means that Britain now lacks direct diplomatic ties with Iran, further isolating the Iranian government at a time when the country is in the spotlight due to allegations that it is running a covert nuclear weapons program.