UK condemns detention of its ambassador to Iran, US demands apology

The Iranian authorities on Saturday night released the British Ambassador to Tehran, Rob Macaire, after detaining him for hours, as London expressed anger over the arrest, considering it a violation of international law.

In a statement, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said “the arrest of our Ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law,” adding ” the Iranian government is at a cross-roads moment. It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to deescalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards.”

The United States called on Iran to apologize for detaining the British ambassador to Tehran. “The Iranian regime arrested the British ambassador to Iran. This violates the Vienna Convention, which the regime has a notorious history of violating”, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus tweeted, continuing “we call on the regime to formally apologize to the UK for violating his rights and to respect the rights of all diplomats.”

Iranian authorities confirmed that British ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, was temporarily detained Saturday evening on charges of being at the scene of anti-regime protests in the Iranian capital, according to the Tasnim News Agency.

The agency said “Macaire was accused of involvement in provoking some radical acts among protesters,” noting he was released after few hours but could be summoned later for further questioning.

A number of cities in Iran have witnessed angry demonstrations after Tehran admitted it mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet.

US President Donald Trump had earlier warned the Iranian regime “there can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters” in reference to the protest movement that Iran witnessed last November.

Trump told the Iranian people “I’ve stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency,” stressing “my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely.”

Source: Jordan News Agency