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Italy Says Iranian Militia Tried To Attack Embassy


ROME, Feb 9 (Reuters) -- Dozens of members of Iran's religious Basij militia tried to attack Italy's embassy in Tehran today, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said.

He said similar incidents had occurred at the French and Dutch embassies in Tehran.

Iran's semi-official Fars news agency said hard-line students protested outside the French and Italian embassies, but there were no reports of violence or attempts by the students to attack the embassies.

Frattini told a Senate hearing: "About a hundred Basij dressed as civilians tried to assault the embassy shouting 'Death to Italy' and 'Death to Berlusconi.'"

He said the attackers had hurled stones at the embassy but caused no serious damage. Iranian police had intervened to "stop a full-blown assault," he added.

Italy is one of Iran's main trading partners in Europe.