London, U.K. -
All Iranian diplomats, support staff and their families have left Britain following an order by the U.K. Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to expel them in retaliation for Iran allowing the British embassy in Tehran to be overrun by crowds suspected of being supported by top Iranian government officials.
"I can confirm that, earlier this afternoon, all diplomatic staff of the Iranian Embassy in London took off from Heathrow airport. They are returning to Iran in line with the Foreign Secretary's (William Hague) statement to parliament on Wednesday," a Foreign Office spokesman said.
No word yet as to how long the expulsion may last, but the Swiss embassy will act as an intermediary for the time being.
The U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with Iran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the rise of the hardline religious clerics when the American embassy was also overran and Americans were held hostage for 444 days. Switzerland also has been acting as an intermediary between the U.S. and Iran.