Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Iranian Students Storm British Embassy in Tehran

The Lede followed the story all day, with lots of video, "Storming of British Embassy in Tehran Broadcast Live on State Television." Also at New York Times, "Protesters Storm British Embassy in Tehran."

And Telegraph UK reports on the obvious and troubling comparison to the United States, "Iran: British embassy attack brings to mind US siege":

Iranians stormed two British Embassy compounds in Tehran, bringing to mind the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran by Iranian students on Nov 4 1979.

Here are details of that siege.

* Students helped spearhead the overthrow of the US-backed Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in the 1979 Islamic revolution. The Shah, who was already gravely ill, sought refuge overseas.

* Exiled cleric Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran in triumph to seal victory for a revolution whose mantra was "Death to America".

* Student activists in co-ordination with radical clerics stormed the U.S. embassy, taking 90 hostages. Fifty-two were held captive for 444 days with the students demanding the extradition of the deposed Shah from the United States.

* The siege prompted then U.S. President Jimmy Carter to freeze Iranian assets and sever all diplomatic ties with Tehran.

* On April 25, 1980, a US commando mission to rescue the hostages was abandoned in the desert with the loss of eight American lives when a helicopter collided with a tanker aircraft, politically damaging President Carter.
More at the link.

Also, "British relations with Iran sink to lowest in decades as Tehran embassies are stormed."