The Iranian authorities arrested the British ambassador in Tehran, Rob MacAir, yesterday, for hours, on charges of "being in the Saturday protests in the Iranian capital."
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi confirmed that his country briefly arrested British Ambassador Rob MacAir after he was suspected of being a foreigner participating in an "illegal gathering" and was released after he was identified.
Araghchi wrote on Twitter: “He was not detained. He was arrested as an unknown foreigner in an illegal gathering. ”
For its part, the Iranian News Agency said that Tehran summoned the British ambassador about his presence against the government.
According to what Tasnim, a source close to Iranian security, was quoted by sources, the British ambassador was arrested for several hours and then released.
Tasnim confirmed that the detention of the British envoy in Iran was for "incitement."
A report by the agency said that the ambassador was present during the Saturday protests in front of Amir Kabir University in Tehran, and he was arrested at that time and released after mediation efforts by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
For his part, the British ambassador to Tehran denied yesterday his participation in any demonstration against the authorities, as reported by Iranian media. Rob Macer wrote on Twitter: "I can confirm that I did not participate in any demonstration." He added, "I went to an event that was presented as a pause to honor the victims of the tragedy (Flight 759) BS752," of the Ukrainian Airlines that was shot down near Tehran on Wednesday by an Iranian missile.
"I left (the pause) five minutes after some people started shouting" against the authorities, he confirmed in tweets in both English and Persian. He indicated that he was arrested half an hour after leaving the scene. He explained, “I was detained for half an hour.” In return, Britain considered Tehran’s arrest of its ambassador a violation of international law.
"The arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without justification or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law," British Foreign Secretary Dominic Rapp said in a statement. In turn, Washington demanded that Iran apologize for the arrest of the British ambassador in Tehran.
In connection with the Iranian demonstrators burned the British flag in front of the United Kingdom embassy in Tehran yesterday, after the arrest of the British ambassador on charges of participating in an illegal demonstration, according to journalists told AFP.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Rap:
"The arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without justification or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law."