Tehran complains after Paris embassy attacked by ‘extremists’
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Tehran complains after Paris embassy attacked by ‘extremists’

Iran says French police were slow to arrive and no arrests were made after unknown assailants throw objects and smash windows at mission

Computers litter the pavement outside the Iranian Embassy in the French capital Paris on September 14, 2018. (AFP  / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN)
Computers litter the pavement outside the Iranian Embassy in the French capital Paris on September 14, 2018. (AFP / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN)

PARIS, France — The Iranian Embassy in Paris was damaged Friday by a group of people that a local police official says was made up of “individuals” and Iran’s Foreign Ministry has accused of being extremists Saturday while complaining of an allegedly slow and weak response from law enforcement in the French capital.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said protesters tried to attack embassy, the country’s official IRNA news agency reported. IRNA quoted ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi saying officers did not arrive quickly after the disturbance was reported.

He said the troublemakers were members of an extremist organization he did not identify, IRNA said.

“It is necessary for the French government to take serious measures to protect Iranian diplomatic missions in that country,” Ghasemi said, according to the news agency.

A Paris police spokeswoman gave a somewhat different version Saturday of what transpired on Friday afternoon, when she said “individuals” threw objects and smashed windows at the embassy.

Pictures of the embassy showed graffiti on the outside of the building as well.

The vandalised sign of the Iranian Embassy in the French capital Paris on September 14, 2018. (AFP / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN)

The spokeswoman said the responding officers searched 12 people, but didn’t take anyone into custody because embassy personnel didn’t want to file a complaint. She provided information about the incident but would not give her name, a common police practice in France.

Ghasemi said some suspects were arrested and Iran has asked the French government to prosecute and punish them, IRNA reported. Tehran is doing its own investigation of the commotion and the allegedly tardy arrival of Paris police, the news agency said.

The Paris police spokesman said she did not have information about the motives or identities of the people outside the embassy.

Paris is home to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an umbrella group for exiled opposition organizations, including the former rebel People’s Mujahedeen, or MEK, which was once considered a terror group by European and American authorities and is banned in Iran.

In July, police in France, Belgium and Germany detained six people, including a diplomat based in Vienna, over an alleged plot to bomb an NCRI meeting near Paris.

TOI staff contributed to this report.

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