Iranian diplomats set to leave UK

December 2, 2011 - 5:30 AM

LONDON (AP) — The deadline is approaching for Iranian diplomats to leave Britain following their expulsion by the U.K. government over attacks on the British embassy in Tehran.

Early Friday, the Iranian flag was still flying at Tehran's embassy in London, with diplomats given until 2 p.m. GMT (9 a.m. EST) to leave the U.K.

Tehran's relations with Britain have become increasingly strained in recent months, largely due to tensions over Tehran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment — a process that can lead to developing nuclear weapons.

On Tuesday, Iranian protesters stormed the U.K. embassy compounds in Tehran. In retaliation, Britain has ordered Iranian diplomats off its soil, pulled its diplomats out of Iran, and backed new sanctions on the Islamic republic.