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Britain's ambassador to Tehran was summoned to receive a diplomatic rebuke after the country's foreign minister vowed to deliver "a slap in the face" to western critics.
Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran's foreign minister, claimed statements from the British Government were inciting demonstrations that swept the country's biggest cities on Sunday. He warned that Iran would strike back against the British and other western governments that were supporting the opposition movement launched in the wake of June's disputed presidential election.
"If Britain does not stop talking nonsense it will get a slap in the face," he said. "The lowly and downgrading remarks by some foreign officials show the black stain on their record in their contradictory interactions."