Europe has promised a tough, unified response to the arrest of local staff at the British embassy in Iran, who are accused of fomenting the recent post-election unrest. All 27 EU countries summoned Iranian ambassadors in protest at Tehran’s treatment of the embassy workers, as Iran blamed the West for the protests following last month’s disputed vote.
Iran ratcheted up the tension further today, with a powerful cleric saying the staff would face trial for their alleged actions. “Do you in the West expect Iran to become like Ukraine and Georgia with street protests after the election then a velvet revolution; a system to be toppled and a government, directed by you, to take over? Your idiocy and stupidity are really limitless,” said Ayatollah Ahmed Jannati, Head of Iran’s Guardian Council. The main opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi hasn’t been seen in public for two weeks since addressing his supporters in the centre of Tehran. He maintains he was cheated out of the Presidency, but is unlikely to overturn the result. Middle class protesters took to the streets after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory, prompting a crackdown by police and denunciation from religious figures. Iran’s Supreme Leader said the vote was largely fair.