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Britain has threatened "serious consequences" for Iran after protesters stormed the British embassy in Tehran, ransacking offices and diplomatic residences and triggering one of the worst crises in bilateral relations since the Islamic revolution 32 years ago. A mob including members of the paramilitary basij brigades, under the control of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, surged through lines of riot police and broke into the embassy and a separate residential compound, the Qolhak Gardens, in northern Tehran, chanting "Death to England" in scenes reminiscent of the seizure of the US embassy in 1979. British diplomatic staff ran for safety and locked themselves in their offices and homes, with one group of about a dozen pinned down by the crowd while others were jostled, although there were no serious injuries. The crowd ripped the gildedUK crest off the embassy, pulled down the union flag and replaced it with the Iranian one, and threw satellite dishes off the roofs of embassy buildings. They also smashed windows and scattered thousands of papers in the street in front of the embassy, where British, US and Israeli flags were set alight.