Rod comments on the storming of Britain’s embassy in Iran:
A Tehran mob invaded the British embassy and ransacked it today. This is incredibly discouraging. I strongly believe war with Iran would be a total disaster for us and for the world, but there can be no doubt that Iran is not a normal country, and is in fact a thugocracy. One that may soon have nuclear weapons.
Obviously, the storming of the British embassy is completely unacceptable for the same reasons that the attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo was. If diplomatic missions are not protected, it becomes impossible to conduct relations between states, and states have an obligation under international law to protect these missions. The attack on the British embassy is unfortunately part of the ongoing escalation of tensions between a few Western states and Iran, and it may be intended as retaliation for the recent explosions that have taken place inside Iran in recent weeks. If the U.S. and/or allied governments are responsible for these blasts, they aren’t exactly demonstrating a great deal of respect for sovereignty and international law, either, are they?
I’m not sure what it means to say that Iran is “not a normal country.” The Iranian government’s tactics are actually quite typical for authoritarian regimes. I recall that Chinese protesters were encouraged to do some damage to the U.S. embassy in Beijing and other consular buildings around the country to retaliate for the “accidental” bombing of their embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo war. That doesn’t excuse the behavior, but our government and allied governments have a bad habit of provoking and even attacking other governments and then reacting in amazement when they respond in kind.
P.S. I should have mentioned that it was new British sanctions on Iran’s central bank that triggered the assault on the embassy.