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UK Ambassador Returns to Tehran after Brief Arrest Last Month

UK Ambassador Returns to Tehran after Brief Arrest Last Month

Friday, 7 February, 2020 - 07:45
An Iranian man holds up a placard as he attends in front of a university to mark the memory of the victims of the Ukraine plane crash in Tehran’s business district on January 11, 2020. (Getty Images)
Asharq Al-Awsat

British Ambassador to Tehran Rob Macaire said on Thursday that he had returned to Iran following his departure last month after he was briefly arrested by Iranian security forces.

“I recently returned from London to Tehran. This was an important trip that was planned some time ago,” Macaire said in Farsi in an Instagram video.

He said, he had met with British foreign minister and other top officials during the trip.

Iranian officials said Macaire was detained because he attended an illegal demonstration that took place amid public anger over Iran’s belated admission that its military shot down a Ukrainian airliner, killing all 176 aboard.

However, he claimed he attended the event as it was advertised as a vigil for victims of the crash.

“Can confirm I wasn’t taking part in any demonstrations!” he tweeted. “Went to an event advertised as a vigil for victims of #PS752 tragedy. Normal to want to pay respects — some of victims were British. I left after 5 mins, when some started chanting,” he tweeted back then after his release.

London said his detention was a violation of diplomatic conventions.

Iran’s foreign ministry summoned Macaire, who has been in the post since 2018, to complain over the incident and the judiciary labeled him an “undesirable element”, state media reported, according to Reuters.

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