BBC News December 02, 2011
Reporter: Now let’s talk about what is happening with Iran, because Britain has ordered immediate closer of Iranian embassy in London, and ordered and all of its diplomat must leave the country within 48 hours.
The move follows the storming of British diplomatic compound in Tehran yesterday.
James Reynolds reports.
Iran’s hardliners sometimes call Britain “the little Satan.”
New British sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program tempted protestors to invade Britain’s headquarter in Tehran.
Demonstrators even raided a residential compound, and Iran’s government did not stop them.
So Britain has now decided to pull up the draw bridge.
William Hague (British Foreign Minister):
The Iranian charter in London has been informed now that we require immediate closure of the Iranian embassy in London, and all the Iranian diplomatic staff must leave the United Kingdom within the next 48 hours.
If any country makes it impossible to operate on their soil, they can not to expect to have a functioning embassy here.
Reporter: So, in West London, the flag of the Islamic Republic will fly for just 2 more days.
The Iranian diplomats in this building now have until Friday afternoon to leave this country.
After that, this embassy will be empty. Britain and Iran will have to find another way of communicating.
This morning in Tehran, Iran’s parliamentary speaker said the protested actions reflected popular opinion.
Iran’s state TV calls the embassy closure hasty.
Still empty embassies won’t bother the hardliners.
But it may make it more difficult to resolve crisis like this one back in 2007 when 15 British naval personnel were captured by Iran in the Gulf.
They were only freed after intense diplomatic negotiations.
But after yesterday’s violence, the phones in Tehran and London will go unanswered.
Diplomatic ties are at the lowest point for more than 20 years.
Reporter: We can talk now to Dowlat Noroozi, who is the UK representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which opposes the ruling regime in Tehran.
She joins us from our studio in central London. Thank you very much for joining us. Well, diplomatic relation is at new low. What do you make of what is happening here?
Dowlat Nowroozi: Actually, I think we very strongly welcome and support the decision made by the British government to expel the Iranian diplomat from the UK.
We think that, as Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president elect of the Iranian Resistance has reiterated, the only solution in dealing with this regime is decisiveness.
The recent attack against British embassy is a very clear indication of the regime’s intent and actually their nature in terms of confronting the world’s community, particularly regarding the secret nuclear weapon program, which is a grave concern not only for all Iranian but also for the world community.
So, what you see, the recent attack, according to the information we have from our sources within Iran, was decided and ordered by Khamenei, the regime’s Supreme leader, and was carried out by the Iranian regime’s revolutionary guard and basiji forces, but under the pretext of so called students.
So, I want to reiterate what you see is definitely not the actions by the Iranian people. There is a very clear distinction.
What you see is a very outlaw government desperate to survive, but engulfed in many crisis, but resorts to repression as well as terrorism, and illegal actions breaching international law in order to sustain its rule within Iran.
There are Iranian people concerned. Definitely this regime must be changed, and they would want democracy to be prevailing throughout Iran.
Reporter: In respond to Britain’s decision to shut down the embassy and expel the diplomat, Iran is calling now warning of re-precaution. What can you make of that? What you think that might potentially be?
Dowlat Nowroozi: Well, actually it is a government that because of lack of support within the Iranian people resorts to intimidation and black-mail of Western countries in order to give in to their various demands.
What they are up to, in my view, both hollowers, but at the same time you should consider that the regime is desperate, and definitely capable of doing a lot of terror campaigns in order to get what they want.
But any real solution and the answer would have to be decisiveness. And any reset back from this sort of reaction would give them a sign of weakness, and they would definitely take advantage of it and just do worse.
So, the best is really to impose immediately comprehensive sanctions, particularly oil and gases as the main resources for providing the financial aid this regime needs in order to carry out repression within Iran, as well as export of fundamentalism and terrorism abroad, and specially acquiring nuclear weapon.
We very strongly support the recent decision by the British government. We are hoping that the European Union would follow the lead and join with the UK in terms of imposing sanctions.
It needs to be coupled with Madam Rajavi’s view that we really do need to go ahead for a major change within Iran for democracy led by the Iranian people and its mobilized resistance.
Reporter: Dowlat Norouzi, thank you for joining us.