Middle East

Media speculate on reasons behind UK-Iran spat

Protesters at the British Embassy in Tehran
Image caption Commentators expect Iran to be isolated further after the storming of Britain's embassy in Tehran

World media speculation on the reasons behind the flare-up between Iran and Britain ranges from a conspiracy to drive up oil prices, to a manifestation of in-fighting among the Iranian political elite.

Several wonder about the implications of the storming of the British embassy in Tehran, with one Israeli commentator seeing it as a warning by an embattled Iran that it has the power to hit back.

Several commentators predict that Iran - already the subject of wide-ranging international sanctions - will face further isolation.

Editorial in Saudi Arabia's Al-Watan

This repeated scenario [of attacking foreign embassies] has become a characteristic of Iran… some regimes are not able to co-exist as much as they are able to antagonise others and get out of domestic crises by creating crises with foreign countries.

Editorial in Saudi Arabia's Al-Jazirah

This Iranian violation that comes as part of the series of attacks and the assassination attempts against ambassadors... indicates that Tehran insists on challenging the international community.

Hassan Haydar in Pan-Arab Al-Hayat

The world must be tired of these little games being repeated by the Iranian regime and mimicked by its Syrian ally, in storming embassies. The issue, indeed, requires a harsh international response.

Habib Fayyad in Lebanon's Al-Safir

The [storming of the UK embassy] indicates that Iranian anger at Western policies has reached its peak at the official and popular levels. Everything that happened reflects an Iranian approach to put the European camp in the same hostile category as the USA. 

Beril Dedeoglu in Turkey's Star

History has shown that British foreign policy was built around containing Russia and that Iran is one of the areas which both the UK and Russia fight for. The UK has a problem with Russia, rather than with Iran.

Suleyman Yasar in Turkey's Sabah

Tension around Iran always keeps oil prices high… That is why it is possible that Iran, Israel and those countries which own big oil companies - the USA and the UK - agree on stirring up tension consciously in order to keep oil prices high.

Vasiliy Shchurov in Russia's Trud

Iran is one of the main exporters of black gold. The cost of a barrel of oil doubled in a year after the Islamic revolution. Oil went up in price only by $2 in a day after the storming of the British embassy and overcame the psychological barrier of $110. However, this seems to be only the beginning.

Bayram Sinkaya in Russia's Izvestiya

This provocation is aimed at destroying the president's faction… President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is currently a very significant figure in Iranian foreign policy, whereas the Majlis - parliament - is in the shadow… Many are unhappy about this, and the attack on the embassy is a good way to discredit the president as a person unable to establish normal ties with anyone.

Chen Xiaoru in China's Zhongguo Qingnian Bao

Since the outbreak of the 'Arab Spring', the US and Europe have been trying to devise ways to provoke and isolate Iran to undermine its relatively balanced relations with Muslim countries. The storming of the UK embassy by Iranian students has provided such a unique opportunity.

Yu Guoqing in China's Nanfang Ribao

Iran's ability to resist sanctions is still very strong and the effects of new sanctions won't be great in the short term - as long as they do not extend to a full oil embargo.

Hasan Ahmadi-Fard in Iran's Qods

The Iranian people should be sure that this time Britain, Europe and the UN Security Council cannot do a damn [thing against Iran]… We continue to stick to our values by maintaining peace and respecting all the international laws and firmly announce that if all the countries in the world stand against our beliefs, we would stand alone against them.

Nadav Eyal in Israel's Ma'ariv

The escalation is already here. The war is already here… The confrontation with Iran is moving from a secret struggle and assassinations to hitting strategic Iranian military installations... The destruction of the embassy could be interpreted as a strategic Iranian hint to the West and the world - pay attention, you are hitting us, but we also can hit you.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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