Shiite group organises an annual rally in London for Al-Quds Day, a festival created by Iran’s late revolutionary leader Ruhollah Khomeini. (Shutterstock)

August 6, 2022

Protesters broke into the Azerbaijani Embassy in London on Thursday, leading to eight arrests after the country’s flag was taken down and Arabic slogans were daubed on the building’s walls.

A spokesperson for London’s Metropolitan Police told Metro newspaper that it had received “reports of protesters who had entered the premises” at around 4:30 p.m.

“Eight men were arrested on suspicion of trespass and criminal damage. They were taken into custody where they remain. No injuries were reported. Enquiries are ongoing.”

The protest was led by members of the Mahdi Servants Union, a Shiite group that seeks “civilizational dominance” according to its website, and that has accused Azerbaijan of persecuting Shiite Muslims. The group said it was taking “urgent action” against the country’s government.

Azerbaijan is a majority Shiite country, but the state — bordering Iran, Georgia and Armenia — is secular.

In 2018 the Iranian Embassy in London also accused the Mahdi Servants Union of targeting its premises after four armed men broke in to protest the country’s arrest of Iraqi Shiite cleric Hussein Al-Shirazi.

The group is led by Yasser Al-Habib, who found himself at the center of a storm in the UK recently after his film “The Lady of Heaven” caused outrage and protests among British Sunni groups due to its controversial depiction of Lady Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad.

The protests led to the film being pulled from a number of cinemas across the country after claims that it was “blasphemous.”

Arab News

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.