BREAKING: Iran arrests UK ambassador in Tehran
Iranian authorities briefly detained Britain’s ambassador in Tehran on Saturday, according to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, after he was reportedly arrested during protests against the regime, AFP has reported.
“The arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law,” Raab said in a statement after the detention of Rob Macaire.
The UK’s ambassador to Iran was arrested in Tehran as protesters took to the streets after the country admitted that it shot down a passenger plane by mistake.
Rob Macaire was held for three hours, in what the UK described as a “flagrant violation of international law”.
It is understood he was attending a vigil for those who died in the crash, which turned into a protest.
He was arrested while on his way back to the UK embassy.
Earlier, the Prime Minister said Iran’s admission was an “important first step” and called for an investigation into the “tragic accident”.
Iran has now admitted Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 was shot down due to “human error”.
The Iranian Etemad newspaper shared a picture of the ambassador on Twitter after the Tasnim news agency reported his arrest.
Iranian media claimed Mr Macaire was accused of inciting anti-government protests.
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.
“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.”
There were demonstrations in Tehran and other cities on Saturday as people gathered to commemorate those who died in the downing of the Ukrainian plane.