In retaliation for the attack on Britain's embassies in Tehran, Britain today ordered the Iranian consulate in London shut down and expelled its diplomats, saying the attacks could not have taken place without the regime's connivance.
The UK has already removed all of its diplomatic personnel from Iran and urged any British subjects in Iran to leave immediately. British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced the closure of the Iranian embassy once all of Britain's diplomats and their families were safely out of the country.
Hague said it was "fanciful" to think Iranian authorities were unable toprotect the British embassy, or that the attacks took place without "some degree of regime consent."
"This does not amount to the severing of diplomatic relations in their entirety. It is action that reduces our relations with Iran to the lowest level consistent with the maintenance of diplomatic relations," he added.
The Iranians have promised what they termed as 'retaliation'.
Britain is apparently also mulling over a ban on Iranian oil imports, something the US has had in effect for years.Oil is fungible and can be sold and resold to anyone, so such bans are not nearly as effective as, say, a ban on dealing with Iran's central bank. That would actually have some effect since Iran would not be able to process payments for its vital oil exports.