ADL Urges European Union to Close Embassies in Tehran
New York, NY, November 30, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the members of the European Union to close their embassies in Tehran to protest the ransacking of the British embassy and to remove an impediment to further European sanctions on Iran.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The destruction of the British embassy in Tehran and the temporary detaining of British diplomats were clearly orchestrated by the Iranian regime. As Americans, the attack, which included anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric, brought back vivid memories of our diplomats, held hostage for 444 days in 1979-81, when the regime first took power.
The E.U. should close all of their embassies in Tehran to protest the ransacking of the British embassy and also to prevent their diplomats from becoming targets as further sanctions are imposed on Iran. The attack on the British embassy was clearly a reaction to the UK's imposition of a ban on dealings with Iran's Central Bank.
The continuing presence of E.U. diplomats in Tehran should not impede or delay the severe sanctions that need to be adopted to compel Iran to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons. While the information and intelligence collection of the embassies would be lost, the priority now should be to enact sanctions that will change minds in Tehran.
After Iranian protesters vandalized the British Embassy compound and a diplomatic residence yesterday, Britain closed its embassy in Tehran and evacuated its entire staff. Britain also shut Iran's embassy in London and expelled its staff, claiming that the Iranian government knew about the attacks. Norway also temporarily closed its embassy. Germany and France recalled their ambassadors for talks, and Italy said it was considering a recall.
European Union foreign ministers are scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss further sanctions on Iran, including a possible oil embargo. ADL has advocated for an embargo on Iranian oil in statements and articles since February 2010.
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The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.