Britain withdrawing diplomatic staff from Iran

British Prime Minister David Cameron warned Iran of serious consequences over the "outrageous and indefensible" incident that has further escalated tensions between Iran and the West.

Agitated over Britain's announcement of additional economic sanctions on Iran in coordination with the US and Canada over its nuclear programme, protesters had yesterday attacked UK's embassy and another diplomatic compound, ransacking the properties and setting documents on fire.

BBC quoted its diplomatic sources as saying that the country is withdrawing all its diplomatic staff from Iran following the attack on its embassy.

In fact, it said a first group of embassy staff was already at the Tehran airport and due to fly to Dubai.

The UN Security Council strongly condemned the attack and called on the Iranian authorities to ensure that diplomatic and consular property and personnel are protected.

Expressing "deep concern" at the assault by protesters who vandalised property at the embassy compound and tore down the Union Jack flag, the 15-nation Council called on the Iranian authorities to "respect fully their international obligations" to protect diplomatic personnel and property.

US President Barack Obama urged the Iranian government to hold to task those responsible for the attack while Germany summoned the Iranian ambassador in Berlin over the issue.

Iran yesterday regretted the incident, terming it "unacceptable" as police said those who took part would be prosecuted.

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