Dominick Chilcott, the UK’s wonderfully named ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran, has given the Washington Post’s Frances Stead Sellers a blow-by-blow account of the view from inside the British embassy when an Iranian mob breached its gate and ransacked the compound, as well as an embassy residential compound a few miles away. Sellers, an Oxford grad and Brit by birth, reached Chilcott by phone in rural Kent, the entire diplomatic staff having been evacuated after the incident. By now all Iranian diplomats should be out of England, the Brits sending them off in response.
Among the tidbits in the Q & A is the ambassador’s recollection of being prevented from leaving the compound outbuilding, identified as “the club,” where the dips had been secluded by riot police. The seclusion went on for hours after the Basiji rampagers had left. “It seems they were keeping us until the chief of police from Tehran had done an inspection tour of the damage,” Chilcott says. ” At the end of it, I was allowed to go and talk to him. It was a peculiar confrontation in the middle of the British compound. He said, ‘It’s okay, I’ve rescued you.’ And I said, ‘This was clearly state-supported, and there will be serious consequences.’ He didn’t contest that.”