The storming of the British embassy in Tehran earlier this week was not an improvised student protest but an attack planned and supervised by Iranian authorities, sources told the Al-Arabiya News Channel on Thursday.

The attack was planned by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei and supervised by the commander of the Basij paramilitary forces, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqd, the sources said.

Proof of their involvement was in the media coverage, according to the sources. Photographs of the attack show troops from the Basij forces taking part, as well as members of the al-Quds Brigade.

In addition, two official state television channels, directly controlled by Khamenei – Press T.V. and al-Alam News Network - managed to broadcast the attack live. No official news channels are permitted to broadcast life without Khamenei's permission, the sources told Al-Arabiya.

The sources surmised that the attack was planned to distract the international community from Bashar Assad's crackdown on protesters in Syria, and to shift attention instead to the confrontation between Iran and the West.