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03-04-2010, 05:12 AM
EU raps Iran for Italian embassy attack


Rome, (ANSA): The European Union on Wednesday rapped Iran over attacks on the Italian and other embassies by pro-regime demonstrators who hurled rocks and chanted violent slogans.

In a short note, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, "strongly condemned" the wave of aggressive demonstrations on Tuesday, which also targeted the French, German and Dutch missions to Tehran.

Ashton's statement followed an appeal by Italian European Affairs Minister Andrea Ronchi for the EU to take a firm stance on the attacks.

Immediately following Ashton's statement on Wednesday, the European Parliament passed a resolution demanding that Iran guarantee the safety of foreign diplomatic staff and protect them from intimidation.

The motion expressed ''concern for the violent nature of the demonstrations'' in addition to charges they had been orchestrated by members of the Basij, a pro-regime militia thought to serve as an auxiliary to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

The European legislature also asked Iranian authorities to respect the rights of peaceful demonstrators on Thursday, the 31st anniversary of the country's Islamic revolution.

It also called for a ''serious debate'' to discuss the option of economic sanctions in order to pressure Iran to cooperate with the international community over to its nuclear programme.