Britain’s ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, has been arrested in Tehran during protests outside a university, the United Kingdom Foreign office has said.
Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, said the arrest of Rob Macaire was a “flagrant violation of international law’’.
He was detained for more than an hour before being released, the Iranian Tasnim news agency reported.
He is said to have been one of a number of individuals held on suspicion of organising, provoking and directing radical actions.
In a statement, Mr 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 forwards.”
In a tweet Tasnim news – an organisation with links to Iran’s Islamic revolutionary guard, said he had been detained “for organizing suspicious movements and protests in front of Amir Kabir University but released after hours”.
The tweet added he 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. Independent UK.