A number of MPs call for UK envoy’s expulsion

January 13, 2020 - 19:30

TEHRAN — A number of MPs have expressed alarm over the presence of British Ambassador Bob Macaire in a rally in Tehran on Saturday and called for his expulsion.

“The British ambassador took part in a small gathering that was against the Islamic Republic,” MP Abolfazl Hassanbeigi told Mehr on Monday.

“He took photos of the gathering and tried to organize it,” he said.

Hassanbeigi, who is a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, described the move as inconsistent with international norms and regulations. 

He said Macaire has “interfered in the internal affairs of our country and acted against the security protocols by participating in an illegal gathering.”

The MP urged the Foreign Ministry to expel the UK ambassador in order to prevent the repetition and normalization of such behavior in the future.

According to Mehr, Macaire was briefly detained during a protest in front of Amir Kabir University in downtown Tehran on Saturday when he was organizing and provoking people angry at the government’s handling of the aftermaths of a plane crash a few days ago.

He was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday for “unconventional behavior” inconsistent with his diplomatic status and being present in an “illegal gathering”.

In separate remarks, a number of lawmakers condemned the British envoy’s undiplomatic behavior.

“An ambassador who interferes in the internal affairs of the host country contrary to diplomatic regulations, must be expelled,” Naghavi Hossieni, another member of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said told the open session of Majlis on Monday.

“Our question is what happens that Britain’s ambassador attends there [the rally] and personally starts to take photos and videos?” Mehr quoted MP Hassan Hosseini Shahroudi as saying.

“Certainly, this has not been accidental and detailed investigations are needed to determine the role of Britain, the U.S. and other enemies of the Islamic Republic in illegal gatherings,” he said, adding, “Many of the lawmakers are calling for the expulsion of Britain’s ambassador and it is necessary to adopt this measure.”

MP Mohammadreza Pourebrahimi called on the Foreign Ministry to be decisive on the issue. 

“Foreign Minister [Zarif] should give a decisive response to the issue and it is necessary to hold an emergency meeting in the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on the issue and to expel Britain’s envoy as soon as possible,” said Pourebrahimi.

MH/PA

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