The Iranian national flag flies outside the Iranian embassy in central London. © Paul Hackett / Reuters
A group of men in black attire have scaled the façade of the Iranian embassy in London and have taken down the flag. Iran’s Press TV said the embassy has come under “attack.” Reports suggest a religious group was behind the stunt.
Footage posted online shows the men on the balcony of the embassy building. One is waving a blue and white flag with inscriptions in Arabic, just after the men apparently took down the Iranian flag.
The Metropolitan Police have reportedly confirmed the incident, journalist Nahayat Tizhoosh tweeted, citing fellow journalist Laura McQuillan. The men reportedly got to the roof and police were negotiating for them to come down.
Four men have been arrested in connection with the incident, according to Iran’s Ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad. He tweeted that more perpetrators could still be on the grounds of the embassy.
Initial reports on social media suggest the men are from a religious organization loyal to the ideas of the late Shia Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Al-Shirazi. Twitter user Haidar Nasralla suggested the group is from the Khoddam Al Mahdi organization, based in Buckinghamshire, UK.
BBC Persian contributor Hossein Aghaie tweeted that the protesters are indeed supporters of Shirazi, adding that Shirazi’s son Hossein was recently arrested for criticizing Iran’s government and leader.