British Embassy Sacked in Tehran: Two Sackings in One
Britain’s embassy in Tehran was stormed by ‘protesters’ (don’t you love this word) on Wednesday, in the biggest crisis between Iran and a European or American country since the infamous United States embassy siege in 1979. With other news to catch the headlines in most places around the world, the activity hasn’t been causing much concern in many homes where it probably should. Of course, all that has happened recently is talk of more sanctions against the Iran government, something that the media and diplomatic air always make sound like the limpest action a dove can make. But this time it’s more serious (as if it wasn’t before), and this embassy storming shows it.
Most people probably don’t even know what the sanctions are. Everyone seems to know of them, but everyone knows neither the value nor the price, and yet thinks they do know both. The UN has passed four against Iran and numerous countries have passed their own, and all concern things like technology movement and sales, and freezing of assets and monitoring of certain funds and financial accounts.
And they do have an enormous effect. If they didn’t, something like this probably wouldn’t occur because there would be little reason to damage territory and provoke military consequences (embassies are, technically, foreign soil). If you wish to do something and you can carry on unimpeded, you’re unlikely to do things to create the impediment to you. If Iran’s government could continue with its weapons aims regardless of sanctions, it would do so without drawing attention to the possibility of such activity ceasing. And if they didn’t have such aims, they’d probably comply to show they didn’t care greatly for such aims, like Qaddafi did last decade.
The Iranian government is most upset this time, though, because the EU were to meet to discuss further sanctions than those that are already quite strenuous, but, more punchier, the British Chancellor George Osborne has ordered all British credit and financial institutions to cease trading with Iranian banks, including the nation’s Central Bank. It didn’t break the top story worldwide, but the Iranian government has dealt with British financial institutions a fair bit, and Osborne’s move is more like taking the piggy bank away, not just cutting pocket money. If similar moves occur from other countries, Iran’s economics could become severely restricted. And as many who have lived through these economic times know, you can’t do much when that happens.Continued on the next page