Britain’s ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Rob Macaire, has been arrested in Tehran, Iran’s capital during protests outside a university.
Naija News reports that following the admittance of the Iranian government that it shot down the Ukranian plane which crashed, killing 176 people on Wednesday, Iranians had called for the immediate resignation of their Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khramenei
There was a lot of anger in Tehran as citizens demand justice and accountability
“Commander-in-chief [Khamenei] resign, resign,” videos posted on Twitter showed hundreds of people chanting in front of Tehran’s AmirKabir University.
The protesters questioned why the plane was allowed to take off since there was so much tension in the country. Days after the crash happened, Iran had denied knowing the reason behind the crash.
Macaire is said to have been one of a number of individuals held on suspicion of allegedly organising, provoking and directing radical actions in Tehran on Saturday.
Reacting, the UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said the arrest of Rob Macaire was a “flagrant violation of international law.”
Raab said, “The arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law.
“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 de-escalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forward.”
An organisation linked to Iran’s Islamic revolutionary guard, Tasnim News, had tweeted that the British ambassador was detained “for organizing suspicious movements and protests in front of Amir Kabir University but released after hours.”
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It added that Macaire would be “summoned by the foreign ministry tomorrow morning.”
It is understood that Mr Macaire had been attending what had been billed as a vigil for the victims of the crash.
However the event quickly turned into a demonstration, at which point Mr Macaire left.
It was as he was returning to the British embassy that he was arrested – although it is not clear who he was held by.
Following a number of urgent calls to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he was eventually released and allowed to return to the embassy, the Independent reports.