Iran FM regrets storming of British embassy


Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, reiterated on Sunday that he regretted last month’s storming of the British embassy in Tehran, but asserted that the incident was “not foreseeable.” “The incursion into the embassy was not foreseeable… The protest had the necessary permission and was supposed to be held within the law,” he said, according to the Mehr news agency.
“However, we regret what happened, which in my view was not called for,” he was quoted as saying. Iranian officials, who supported the demonstration outside the British embassy to express anger over new Western sanctions levelled at Tehran, have been sending mixed messages over the storming of the embassy. Salehi and the foreign ministry from the start expressed regret at the attack.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other top leaders have stayed silent on the attack. Salehi implied that British officials had overreacted by withdrawing its diplomats from Tehran, accusing them of “becoming more Catholic than the Pope,” according to Mehr.
Meanwhile, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi predicted on Sunday that the European Union will not impose fresh sanctions on Iran’s oil sector because of the disruption it would cause to the global market.
“Iran is currently among the main oil producers in the world and without Iran the global oil market would be disrupted,” Qasemi was quoted as saying during a Tehran media conference.
European sanctions “would bring about a drastic hike in global oil prices,” he said.
“Iran has no problem in replacing oil (sales) to Europe. But there will be no sanctions on Iran’s Europe-bound oil,” Qasemi said.