Iran is looking to reinvent its London presence with a bold new embassy building on Queensgate Mews, South Kensington (we think - none of the news reports give the exact location, but the clues are there). The sleek design would also incorporate a contemporary art gallery and cultural centre.
These ambassadorial ambitions follow in the architectural footsteps of diplomatic rival the USA, which recently released plans for its own cubic embassy in Nine Elms. The words 'Iranian' and 'embassy', of course, immediately conjure images of the dramatic SAS siege upon their existing embassy, back in 1980, so a touch of rebranding couldn't hurt.
Local residents, however, seem less than enthused if the Guardian's quote-mining is representative. 'Eyesore', 'catastrophic' and 'hideous' claim the delicate denizens of South Kensington, who are now appealing to self-appointed architectural ombudsman Prince Charles for an intervention. A planning decision is due in September.