News story

Storming of British Embassy in Iran

Latest developments following an incursion by demonstrators on 29 November at the British Embassy premises in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Update at 17:30 December 2

Foreign Office spokesperson:

“I can confirm that, earlier this afternoon, all diplomatic staff of the Iranian Embassy in London took off from Heathrow airport. They are returning to Iran in line with the Foreign Secretary’s statement to Parliament on Wednesday.”

Update at 17:45 December 1

** Foreign Secretary welcomes strong EU action on Iran **

Update at 13:45 November 30

** Foreign Secretary statement to the House of Commons **

Update at 07:45 November 30**

Foreign Office spokesperson:

“The PM and Foreign Secretary have made clear that ensuring the safety of our staff and their families is our immediate priority.

In light of yesterday’s events, and to ensure their ongoing safety, some staff are leaving Tehran.

We do not comment on our contingency plans. We will make any announcement about our Embassy and staffing at the appropriate time.”

Update at 20:30 November 29

Prime Minister David Cameron statement: “The attack on the British Embassy in Tehran today was outrageous and indefensible. The failure of the Iranian government to defend British staff and property was a disgrace”

Update at 18:00 November 29

Foreign Secretary William Hague statement: UK takes ‘irresponsible action extremely seriously’.

Update at 15:10 November 29

An FCO spokesperson said:

“Senior officials have spoken to the Iranian charge in London to urge the Iranian authorities to act with utmost urgency to ensure the situation is brought under control and to protect our diplomatic compound, as they are obliged to do under international law.

“This is a fluid situation and details are still emerging.

“We have updated our travel advice to reflect today’s incident and now advise British nationals in Iran to stay indoors, keep a low profile and await further advice.”

Update at 13:25:

A Foreign Office spokesperson said:

“There has been a incursion by a significant number of demonstrators into our Embassy premises, including vandalism to our property.

“This is a fluid situation and details are still emerging.

“We are outraged by this. It is utterly unacceptable and we condemn it.

“Under international law , including the Vienna Convention, the Iranian Government have a clear duty to protect diplomats and Embassies in their country and expect them to act urgently to bring the situation under control and ensure the safety of our staff and security of our property.”

Published 2 December 2011