NewsSpecial WireIran hardliners to stage demo outside British embassy

Iran hardliners to stage demo outside British embassy

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Aug. 02 – Radical Islamists allied to the incoming President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will stage a demonstration outside the British embassy in the Iranian capital on Wednesday, a spokesman for the group planning the protest announced hours after the explosion of a small bomb near the offices of two British companies in downtown Tehran. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Aug. 02 – Radical Islamists allied to the incoming President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will stage a demonstration outside the British embassy in the Iranian capital on Wednesday, a spokesman for the group planning the protest announced hours after the explosion of a small bomb near the offices of two British companies in downtown Tehran.

Vahid Mahabadi said that from 5 pm on Wednesday, members of Hadian-e Aftab would demonstrate outside the embassy in protest at the torching of the Iranian flag in the United Kingdom.

Mahabadi claimed that the Iranian flag had been desecrated and burnt when the Iranian football team were in the UK for friendly matches.

The timing of the demonstration has added to concerns that the hard-line camp is out on an anti-British campaign to pressure London into adopting a softer line on Iran vis-à-vis its suspected nuclear weapons program.

Earlier this morning, a small bomb exploded outside the offices of British Airways, British Petroleum and DaimlerChrysler in the Iranian capital Tehran, but there were no casualties.

The blast against British interests in the midst of virulent daily attacks by Iran’s state-run media against London’s toughening stance on Iran’s nuclear program was seen by some analysts as a warning shot from the theocratic state’s ruling hard-line camp.

Last year, there were several violent demonstrations outside the British embassy after the UK took a strong position on Iran’s nuclear activities. Hard-line supporters of the clerical regime burnt British and American flags in all such demonstrations. On one occasion, hand-made Molotov cocktails were thrown inside the embassy compound.

Earlier on Tuesday, Paul Williams, a Middle East political analyst who recently visited Iran, in a telephone interview from Dubai said, “At first sight, this has all the hallmarks of being the work of the hard-liners who rule the country”, referring to the day’s bomb blast.

“There is a lot of anger in the hard-line camp at what they see as London pushing its EU partners towards a tougher line on Iran”, Williams added.

In an interview that appeared on several Persian-language websites on Monday, British ambassador to Tehran, Sir Richard Dalton, had a tough message for the Iranian leadership.

“For many years, Iran was not revealing any information about its nuclear activities, while implementing its nuclear program”, the ambassador said. “Europe must be assured that Iran will not use its nuclear activities for military purposes”.

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