Armed French police arrest man 'threatening to blow himself up' at Iranian consulate in Paris


Armed French police arrested a man who had “threatened to blow himself up” at Iran's consulate in Paris on Friday.

Security forces were seen running towards the building, located across the River Seine from the Eiffel Tower, following the reports that the man had a grenade and explosive vest.

A police source said the man was seen at about 11am (0900 GMT) entering the consulate.

Police said they were at the scene and asked the public to avoid the area but provided no further details.

Service was interrupted on a nearby metro line for security reasons, the RATP metro company said.

A person at the Iranian embassy who responded to a call from Reuters declined to provide any information on the situation.

It was unclear whether the incident had any link to the escalating tensions between Iran and Israel.

One report claimed that the man had managed to get into a room with the ambassador where he was holed up.

Others claimed an eyewitness had seen him arrive at the consulate, open his coat to reveal what appeared to look like an explosive vest.

He is said to have put flags on the floor of the building and to have stated that he wanted to avenge the death of his brother.

Around 2pm, reports were coming in that a man had been arrested at the scene.

Earlier on Friday, explosions echoed over the Iranian city of Isfahan in what sources described as an Israeli attack, but Tehran played down the incident and indicated it had no plans for retaliation - a response that appeared gauged towards averting region-wide war.

Israel would have been responding to the wave of 300 drones and missiles launched by Iran against it but which only had very limited impact.

The French police action sparked immediate memories of the hostage-taking at the Iranian Embassy in London 44 years ago.

Six gunmen took over the Iranian diplomatic building in Kensington.

The siege ended when the SAS stormed the building, abseiling down ropes, smashing windows in a dramatic rescue mission.