The Iranian authorities arrested the British ambassador in Tehran, Rob Macair, on Saturday, for hours, on charges of "being in today's 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.
"He was not detained," Araghchi wrote on Twitter. He was arrested as an unknown foreigner in an illegal gathering, ”he said, noting that he was released a quarter of an hour after he was identified.
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 of 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.
On Sunday, the British ambassador to Tehran, Rob Maker, denied his participation in any demonstration against the authorities, according to Iranian media.
"I can confirm that I have not participated in any demonstration," Macer wrote on Twitter.
He added, "I went to an event that was presented as a pause to honor the victims of the tragedy of the (flight plane) BS 752" of the Ukrainian Airlines that was shot down near Tehran on Wednesday by an Iranian missile.
"It is natural for me to be willing to honor" the victims, especially as some of them are "British", Macer wrote.
"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.
In return, Britain considered Tehran's arrest of its ambassador a violation of international law.
In a flagrant violation of international law, British Ambassador to Iran Rob Macer was briefly arrested during his participation in demonstrations in the capital protesting the Iranian Revolutionary Guards shooting down the Ukrainian plane before being released, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Rapp said in a statement.
He continued: «The Iranian government in a defining moment. It can continue to place the outcast with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to stop the escalation of tension and pursue a diplomatic path in the future. ”
In turn, Washington demanded that Iran apologize for the arrest of the British ambassador in Tehran.