Growing Tension Between Britain and Iran

After a chaotic 24 hours, Iran has expelled the British ambassador, and Britain has requested that all Iranian diplomats leave London within 48 hours. Likewise, Britain has recalled its ambassadors and staff from Tehran.

Earlier this month, Britain imposed nuclear and economic sanctions against Iran. In response, Iranians attacked the British embassy, causing damage to the building and placing the ambassadors and staff in danger.

Britain’s sanctions included the prohibition of financial institutions from doing any business with Iran. They were imposed as a result of Iran’s growing nuclear program.

“We have been foremost among those nations arguing for peaceful legitimate pressure to be intensified on Iran in the light of the IAEA’s ‘deep and increasing concern’ about the Iranian nuclear program, including its ‘possible military dimensions.’”

Iran has issued threats against Britain and the U.S. for their imposed sanctions, warning that there would be repercussions against NATO allies if Iran was attacked.

British Prime Minister David Cameron declared Tuesday’s attacks “outrageous and indefensible.” He warned there would be “serious consequences for its unacceptable failure” to keep British officials safe.

William Hague of the British Foreign Office asked Iran to “act with utmost urgency to ensure the situation is brought under control and to protect our diplomatic compound.”

He continued: “We should be absolutely clear that no difficulty in relations can ever excuse in any way or under any circumstances the failure to protect diplomatic staff and diplomatic premises.”

Today, Britain has officially closed the Iranian embassy located in London and called for the return of British diplomats and staff in Tehran, giving them 48 hours to leave.

This is only the latest in a series of actions between Iran and NATO-affiliated nations. Iran has rejected the idea of becoming part of a growing, international community and has instead reacted with threats and violence.