AFP: Islamist students hurled stones, eggs and paint-filled bags during an anti-British demonstration on Thursday outside the country’s embassy in Tehran. TEHRAN, June 14, 2007 (AFP) – Islamist students hurled stones, eggs and paint-filled bags during an anti-British demonstration on Thursday outside the country’s embassy in Tehran.
About 100 people joined the protest held under the banner “Treason and diabolical acts of the British government in Iran” ahead of a reception marking the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, and warned Iranian guests not to attend.
Several dozen anti-riot police kept the demonstrators away from the embassy gates after they intercepted a truck carrying flowers into the premises and destroyed its load.
Banners erected in front of the embassy read: “Shame to the British servants”, and “Great Britain commits treason and supports traitors”.
Mojtaba Ebrahimi, head of the Islamic students society, told protesters he knew “what sort of artists, politicians and disgusting Iranians and traitors had been invited.”
The Siasat e-Ruz newspaper spoke of “suspect invitations at a time when security experts have expressed their concern with British embassy activities in recent months.”
The hardline Kayhan newspaper also wrote about what it described as an embassy plan to “break the taboo of Iranians communicating with foreigners,” which it said included inviting Iranian artists to Thursday’s reception.
Iranian authorities have regularly accused the United States and Britain of seeking to stir unrest amongst ethnic minorities in its sensitive border areas close to the Turkish, Iraqi and Pakistani frontiers.
Iran is also at loggerheads with the West over its controversial nuclear programme, while tensions with Britain were exacerbated by Iran’s seizure of 15 British sailors in the Gulf in March.