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As police stood by Tuesday, an Iranian Basij militia member reared back to throw a stone toward the British embassy in Tehran. Other Basij militia members also took part in the attack, witnesses say. (AFP/Getty Images)

U.K. Expels Iranian Diplomats

Nov 30, 2011

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Reported by

Mark Memmott

Tuesday's attack on the British embassy in Tehran by Iranian "students" has led the U.K. to order the expulsion of all Iranian diplomats and the closing of Iran's embassy in London, the BBC reports.

Foreign Secretary William Hague told Parliament that "if any country makes it impossible for us to operate on their soil they cannot expect to have a functioning embassy here."

Iran has said only a small number of the protesters are to blame for the attack, and another on a second British diplomatic compound in Tehran, and claims that some of those individuals have been arrested.

But photos and reports from the scene showed that among those who ransacked the embassy, throwing stones and petrol bombs as they went, were members of the Basij militia, which often provides "a little bit of muscle" for the Iranian regime, as NPR's Steve Inskeep has reported.

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