Iranians attack Italian embassy

2010/02/09

Published in German weekly magazine “Der Spiegel” on February 9 2010
Source (German): http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,676909,00.html#ref=rss

They threw rocks and eggs: Hundreds of Iranians attacked the Italian embassy in Tehran and protested outside the building. They chanted “Death to Italy” and “Death to Berlusconi” – apparently in protest against Italy’s call for sanctions in connection with the nuclear conflict with Iran.

Rome – Italy’s foreign minister Franco Frattini is outraged about the incidents that happened outside the Italian embassy in Tehran. He described the demonstration staged by about 100 Iranians, who apparently had attempted to storm the building, as “hostile”. The protester threw rocks and eggs at the building and chanted “Death to Italy” and “Death to Berlusconi”. Major damages was prevented only after the police intervened.

The protests seemed to be triggered by a statement made by the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berluscone last week in Israel, announcing plans to curtail commercial relations with Iran and support further sanctions in connection with the nuclear programme. Italy has been Tehran’s major trading partner in the EU for a long time.

Iranian media outlets referred to the incident as a peaceful demonstration of radical students. Frattini told journalists that the attackers were dressed in plain clothes and “most likely” belonged to the paramilitary militias. According to Frattini, similar incidents happened at the French and the Dutch embassies.

According to a spokeswoman of the Dutch foreign office, they had no such information. The French authorities have not yet made any comments on the issue.
hen/Reuters/apd

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