Iranian MPs call for a decision on British ambassador

January 19, 2020 - 19:25

TEHRAN – 200 parliamentarians out of the 290-seat parliament issued a statement on Sunday calling for a decision about British Ambassador Rob Macaire, who was arrested briefly by police during an unauthorized demonstration in central Tehran on January 11.

Hamid-Reza Haji Babaee, an MP who represents Hamedan, said in a public session of the parliament that the Foreign Ministry is duty-bound to defend the people’s rights and reduce political ties with Britain to the level of charge d’affairs.

On January 12, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Macaire for his “unconventional behavior and presence” in the illegal gatherings.

The British diplomat was reminded that his presence in illegal gatherings has no conformity with his responsibility as his country’s political representative in Iran and that his behavior is in contrast to the 1961 Vienna convention on diplomatic relationship, the ministry said.

It added the British government should provide answers in this regard.

Ambassador Macaire was accused of “inciting” the protesters in front of Amir Kabir University of Technology.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi said in a tweet on January 12 that Macaire was temporarily arrested for participating in the “illegal gathering” in Tehran.

“He wasn’t detained but arrested as an unknown foreigner in an illegal gathering. When police informed me a man’s arrested who claims to be UK Amb, I said IMPOSSIBLE! only after my phone conversation w him I identified, out of big surprise, that it’s him. 15 min later he was free,” Araghchi tweeted.

The ambassador has left Tehran for his country. His departure had been announced to the relevant bodies.

The sources said that Macaire left Iran according to regulations.

The sources did not reveal any information about the time of his departure and his destination.

Based on diplomatic protocols, any ambassador or diplomatic agent in the host country is entitled to return to his own country for a vocation or any other issue after submitting an official note on his departure.

NA

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