Britain, encouraged by the outspoken support of countries like China as well as Europe and the United States, has decided to make the toughest response possible to Tuesday’s attacks on the British embassy buildings in Tehran.
Most of the countries that have been supportive – including France, Germany, Austria and Turkey – have become increasingly worried about the erratic way that Iran has been behaving, and worried too about its aims and intentions now that it seems close to being able to assemble a nuclear weapon.
Cutting off all diplomatic relations is a step into the unknown, certainly, but diplomatic relations alone will never be enough to keep the peace. Britain, after all, had diplomatic relations with Nazi Germany until the moment war was declared.
So by the weekend, the Iranian embassy in London, just like the British one in Tehran, will essentially be empty, and any diplomatic activity will have to go by other routes.