Thursday, December 1, 2011

Storming the Embassy

Scoring Political Gains at the Expense of Iran’s Foreign Policy and National Interests

By Nader Uskowi

The Speaker of Majlis, the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani told reporters in Tehran today that the “presence” of students at the British embassy and residence in Tehran should not have provoked the British decision to close the embassies in both countries. Larijani added that the departure of the British diplomats from Iran was actually good for the country as they continued interfering in Iranian internal affairs and planned conspiracies against Iran [IRNA, 1 December].

Speaker Larijani did not explain that if the presence of the British mission in Iran was so detrimental to the national interest of the country, why did the Majlis or the government keep the embassy open. Iran’s foreign ministry could have ordered months and years ago the closure of the embassies in Tehran and London in an orderly manner. They didn’t need to wait for a mob to ransack the British embassy to begin to realize that the presence of the embassy in Tehran was not in the national interest of the country. And they did not need to wait for British Foreign Secretary William Hague to order the closure of the embassies.

The truth is that the storming and the looting of the British embassy, or as Larijani calls it the “presence” of the students on the embassy compound, is part of a dark and dangerous trend in the history of the Islamic Republic to score political gains internally at the expense of the country’s foreign policy and its national interests. The issue here is not that some angry individuals, or looters, or terrorists stormed the embassy. Such incidents could happen anywhere and has happened elsewhere. The photos taken before and after the embassy was attacked clearly show that the folks were organized and this was a planned action. The “students,” among other things, carried a large picture of the IRGC Quds Force commander, General Qasemi [Tabnak, 29 November]. Why? These people were not random looters or terrorists; they were most likely members of the basij force following the lead of a faction within the Islamic Republic.

Iran as a major country is emerging as a regional powerhouse. It needs not, and cannot afford tolerating a system where political factions can act with impunity against the national interests only to gain an upper hand in an upcoming election or strengthen their position to change a president. Speaker Larijani needs to ralize that the “presence” of the students at the embassy was not for the purpose of having an afternoon tea with the Britts. It was a presence that was counter to the national interests of the country, centered on the factional politics of today’s Iran.


Anonymous said...

Well, what was worse for Iran: British foreign policy leadership of the EU setting in motion stricter economic sanctions on Iran, or Iranian students occupying the British embassy and setting in motion the expulsion of the Iranian diplomatic section?

I'm guessing overwhelming popular opinion inside Iran believes the former to be many times worse.

That's not to say I condone what the students have done, I don't. But this is not for us to decide on their behalf, we who live on the "giving" end of the economic stick, as opposed to those that live on the "receiving" end.

Nader Uskowi said...

I guess you missed the essence of my argument. The issue discussed was the dark side of the incident: attacking a foreign embassy and endangering the country’s foreign policy and national interests in order to score political gains internally.

Anonymous said...

Nader, you're making a determination on the event based on your own personal sense of advocacy, which you're entitled to. But at this point in time, my guess is it's a minority view of those living in Iran.

I will say this: both the increased economic warfare and the resulting temporary embassy takeover represent a disappointing turn of events.

Unknown said...

Well said Nader!
The cyber basij is arguing the detailes and missing the big picture, on purpose. I don't think you can use logic to convince them of anything. They can't agree with you because their job is to disagree, but whatever illogical means necessary.

Anonymous said...

To all those defending the attack on the British embassy. The protection of the representatives of other countries and (even your enemies) is a very old tradition. You should study the history and see how during the course of history, majority of rulers and governments have treated their enemies emissaries and how wars have started because of not doing it (I am not suggesting that this will happen now) but just read about chingiz khan and how he decided to invade "iran" during the Saljughi dynasti when the Saljugh king stupidily decided to kill his emmissary and his senders who had come to "Iran" with a msg of piece and with gifts.
This is a century old tradition (Even before the modern age international convention signed by Iran and all the other countries to protect the foreign staff and embassies) that has been violated by the mullahs and their henchmen. But this is not 1979 and the country will pay heavily. Best case scenario a new North Korea, worst case scenario a new Iraq or Afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

The hub for the recent assassinations in Tehran was overrun.

I say well done ...and about bloody time

Anonymous said...

iran should act threat same as threat they must close france ,natherland,germany ,italy, even canda embassy out in iran to show them they are in the business nothingelse.

Anonymous said...

1:01 PM

Wow your really well informed aren't you?
In case you didn't know France,Germany,Italy,Norway and other EU countries have already left Iran on their own free will and Iranian embassy staff were kicked out of England.

Anonymous said...

~~~~Iran as a major country is emerging as a regional powerhouse.~~~~

Iran had amassed some power in the region but that power crested more than a year ago and is receding. What we're seeing is some stunningly stupid stumbling from the Iranian government as it sinks.

Nader Uskowi said... has published a photo showing one of the commanders of iRGC Quds Force participating in the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran. The authenticity of the photo has not yet been confirmed.

Anonymous said...

Iranian State Officials Praise Attacks on British Compounds

December 2nd, 2011


New details have emerged in the aftermath of the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran, making an increasingly compelling case which implicates elements of the Iranian government.

A number of senior Iranian politicians have even praised the attacks and endorsed the protesters, seriously undermining the already wanting credibility of the Foreign Ministry’s expression of regret over the incident.

The semi-official and authoritative Iranian Diplomacy site was the first government-associated media outlet to admit to the involvement of the student Basij militia in the protests. Official sources had hitherto denied that there was very little that was organic or extemporaneous about the attack.

The fact that the original protest was planned and government approved is indisputable: first, it is quite clear that unapproved protests do not happen in Iran, and when they do, the police do a much better job dealing with them.

Furthermore, semi-official Fars News Agency had reported earlier in the week of a demonstration already planned for Tuesday outside the British Embassy to protest the assassination of nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari.

That something more than just a protest was in mind is clear as well. Days before the attack, Fars News had also run a story asking “Is the British Embassy any different than the United States Den of Espionage?”, and one day before the attack student Basij were noted to have announced on their blog that “students will soon seize the embassy of the Old Fox.”

The coordination of the attacks and discipline shown by the vandals also belies the supposed spontaneity of over-zealous student protests: near simultaneous raids were launched on two separate compounds, six miles apart from each other, while unused embassy buildings were completely ignored. There was a suspicious element of order in all of the confusion as well.

After conflicting accounts of police skirmishes (despite some photos showing police standing idly by), and while many outlets were reporting them to still be in full swing, the protests quickly dispersed and things were over almost as soon as they had begun.

The degree to which the attacks have been embraced and approved by senior politicians is also wildly irresponsible at best and criminally collusive at worst. Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani was quoted by the semi-official Mehr News Wednesday as saying that, “The students’ action against the British Embassy was a symbol of the public opinion of Iranians.” Mehr News also quoted “a number of different MPs in separate interviews” in saying that the attacks were “quite natural,” indicative of the Iranian nation’s insight,” and “a warning to the British government…that the Iranian people’s patience is limited.” Another MP called the ‘students’ “courageous,” and still another voiced his “support” for the British receiving their “just comeuppance.”

Anonymous said...

The basij hence the IRGC and the corrupt regime in Tehran were involved in this fiasco.
One of the basij thugs by the name of Karim Jallahlee photo was taken of him running out of the British Embassy with other basij members or shall I say so called "students".
This regime is an utter disgrace to Iranian honor and morality.The sooner we get rid of this regime the better for the future prosperity and sanity of Iran.

Anonymous said...

Have you forgoten humilitation of royal navy in 2007? and now UK embassy- be real people they realy need to be smag in the bud which they got it well from people of iran all the noise just mean nothing, they are in charge of them country and would not let any one to dictated to them they are the master of them house period if you want war let take it in the battle ground no one fear of itand will show you how they can fight.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:07 AM

Have they left you behind in the Iranian embassy?

B.M.A said...


With due respect allow me to give my misgivings on your post .In your article, you are potraying a diplomatically hopeless Government out of the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN.Y ou have asked humble questions as to why didnt the Government in IRAN close the embassy beforehand instead wait until a mob storm and ransacks before realising that the embassy did not seave the interest of the country!.Before rarely admitting IRAN being an emerging power and a major country you return back to slaughter your animal[the Regime] that it can not afford to let a political faction roam with impunity at the expense of the country's foreighn policy and national interests!

reply one-

you are too generous on Britain by giving it a clean bill of health effectively throwing it on the truthful side of the diplomatic dispute while we all share your views that IT IS WRONG FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO BEHAVE LIKE THIS in the eyes of the world,it is not prudent to just pin down the Government ,sing slogans against it and simply forget the important link or bridge that brought all the trouble to this far.

reply two-

how easy it is to just blame the regime on this latest spat!.Yet as time will show, this single episode will become an important catalyst towards a more independent and may help BRITAIN BEHAVE AND MAKE AMENDS TO ITS WEIRD WAYS!.

reply three

But Mr Uskowi, why do you think Britain is just too important to IRAN.WHAT MAKES YOU BELIEVE THAT IRAN NEEDS BRITAIN MORE THAN THE OPPOSITE?what about its hand in the covert operations inside the contry, its hand in the Iraq's military muscle during the imposed war, its hand in the Iraqi chemical warfare,its hand in the international negative campaign against the IRANIAN NATION.CAN'T YOU YOU SEE for God's sake the regime and the enlightened masses in side the country have every reason to fear this country?


IRAN IS ON ITS WAY TO A LONG JOURNEY,A JOURNEY LITTERED WITH POTHOLES OF PLOTS AND NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN AND NAME CALLING.But the good news is that she has walked half the jouney.paradoxically for IRAN TO SUCCEED IT NEEDS MORE ENEMIES THAN FRIENDS.and standing amongst the devils out to hinder Iran is BRITAIN !!.BUT WHEN THE DEVIL SMILES ON YOU ,! YOU HAVE many reasons to worry than if it curses you!!.

Anonymous said...


Don't mix Iran with those criminals because the main victims of the theocracy are the Iranian people.The Iranian people have decided they have had enough of this regime who claim to rule in the name of religion and want shot of them the sooner the better.
Iranians don't want to fight America or anybody else we just want to make our country prosperous happy and specially free.
Free from bigoted religious dogma constant wailing and crying also lying in the name of god.Basically total hypocrisy followed by hysteria.