BEIJING - China on Wednesday criticized the storming of two British diplomatic compounds in Tehran a day before, opening a rare public crack in outwardly amicable relations with Iran.
China is a big consumer of crude oil from Iran, and has resisted proposed Western sanctions on Tehran's nuclear ambitions that could stymie those energy ties. But the rowdy attacks on British diplomatic quarters in Tehran drew criticism from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
"China has always maintained that the safety and dignity of diplomatic personnel and properties must be ensured and protected," the ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing in Beijing, in answer to a question about the incident.
"The attacks in question were contrary to international law and rules, and they should be appropriately dealt with," he said.