These protesters were clearly orchestrated by the Iranian regime, for the mayhem could never have taken place without sanction in a country where secret police stalk the streets, torture is endemic, criminals are executed in public and foreign embassies are closely guarded and monitored.
Far from being students, many of the thugs involved were elite members of Iran’s paramilitary Basiji brigades, a hard-core volunteer outfit under the control of the country’s Revolutionary Guards, who answer to the country’s top cleric, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
It was his parliamentary claque that had just voted through the anti-British measures.
Under the universally respected 1961 Vienna Conventions, all embassies are inviolable and must be treated as their respective nations’ sovereign territory. But Iran has no time for such niceties – the country’s brutal and erratic rulers rarely observe the rules of civilised conduct.