Why does Obama look increasingly weak? It is the UK and the EU which looks like the new George W. Bush!
EU threatens mass pullout of ambassadors from Tehran
Monday 29 June 2009
European Union members are threatening the collective withdrawal of their ambassadors from Iran to secure the release of the British embassy employees being held by the authorities.
EU diplomats said tonight all the envoys could be recalled "temporarily" in solidarity with staff from the British mission in Tehran who have been accused – entirely falsely, UK officials insist – of involvement in protests over the "stolen" presidential election.
Five of the nine Iranians, who were arrested on Saturday, were freed today, but four others, understood to be the most senior, were still being questioned. None of them have been named.
As the row with Britain continued, Iran's guardian council, the country's top legislative body, confirmed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in the disputed poll after a partial recount, finally dashing hopes of a different outcome.
Gordon Brown underlined concern over the embassy incident when he called it unacceptable and unjustifiable that the employees were being held. The prime minister was speaking in London alongside the European commission president, JosÃ© Manuel Barroso, who expressed full solidarity with the UK.
Yesterday, EU foreign ministers warned Iran that any "harassment or intimidation" of embassy staff would be met with a "strong and collective" response. Most of the 27 EU member states have their own ambassadors in Tehran.