The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
UK summons Iranian ambassador over Tehran envoy arrest Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

UK summons Iranian ambassador over Tehran envoy arrest

The UK took action after its ambassador to Iran was arrested[Getty]

Date of publication: 13 January, 2020

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
The UK summoned the Iranian ambassador in London after Tehran arrested its envoy in what was described as an unacceptable breach of the Vienna Convention.
The UK summoned the Iranian ambassador on Monday to protest the detention of London's envoy to Tehran at the weekend, the government said.

London wanted to convey its "strong objections" about the "unacceptable breach" of diplomatic protocol, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said.

Ambassador Rob Macaire was arrested on Saturday after a demonstration that broke out at a memorial for 176 people killed when Iran's armed forces mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian plane last week.

Iranian authorities confirmed his arrest as a foreigner at "an illegal gathering" but said he was released soon after being identified.

Macaire said he went to an event advertised as a vigil and left after five minutes when some people started shouting. He was arrested half-an-hour later.

"This was an unacceptable breach of the Vienna Convention and it needs to be investigated," the Downing Street spokesman said, referring to a 1961 international treaty that sets out protections from harassment for foreign diplomats.

"We are seeking full assurances from the Iranian government that this will never happen again. 

"The Foreign Office has summoned the Iranian ambassador today to convey our strong objections."

Tensions are running high in Iran and across the wider region after the US killing of a top Iranian commander and a retaliatory strike on coalition bases in neighbouring Iraq.

On Sunday, Iranian protesters set alight a Union Jack in front of the UK embassy in Tehran in response to the British ambassador's attendance at the vigil-turned-protestAFP correspondents reported.

Chanting "Death to Britain", up to 200 protesters rallied outside the mission a day after the brief arrest of British Ambassador Macaire at a memorial for those killed when a Ukraine airliner was shot down.

His arrest came amid renewed demonstrations against the Iranian government after it admitted responsibility for the fatal downing of a Ukrainian passenger jet earlier this week, which Tehran said was accidental.

All 176 people on board the flight were killed in the catastrophic crash, which occurred just hours after Tehran fired a volley of ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq hosting US forces. That attack came in retaliation for the killing of top Guards general Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike last week.

Most of the victims were Iranian citizens or Iranian-Canadian dual nationals.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay connected

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More