- Title: IRAN: Small blasts rock British embassy in Iran
- Date: 1st April 2007
- Summary: CLOSE OF SMOKE RISING FROM INSIDE THE BRITISH EMBASSY COMPOUND IN TEHRAN/ PROTEST
- Reuters ID: LVA1VL49Q58291UZZESZ4TPIFLNK
- Duration: 00:00:15
- Story Text: Several small blasts have rocked the British embassy in Iran and smoke has risen from inside the compound in central Tehran during a protest over 15 detained sailors and marines, but no one was hurt. Britain said no damage had been done and no one was hurt in the protest by about 100 people. Reuters witnesses also said the blasts did not appear to do any damage, although each sent a small plume of smoke into the air.
One witness cited eight blasts saying they came from small, home-made explosive devices.
Iran ignored growing international pressure to release the 15 sailors and marines, saying London should change its behaviour over the nine-day-old stand-off.
Witnesses in Tehran said the blasts were heard as demonstrators surged towards a barrier in the middle of the road near the embassy and crossed into the lines of police, some of them wearing riot gear. But the demonstrators were pushed back.
"British, British, death to you, death to you," some of the demonstrators chanted, as some hurled stones at the embassy.
One witness saw a small scuffle between police and some of the protesters.
Iran captured the 15 Britons on March 23, accusing them of illegally entering the Islamic Republic's territorial waters. Britain says the sailors were seized in Iraqi waters.
Their capture has prompted international criticism of Iran, with U.S. President George W. Bush calling the detention inexcusable and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, now holder of the European Union presidency, demanding the sailors' release.
The row, at a time of heightened Middle East tensions over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme, pushed oil prices last week to a six-month high.
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