‘Iran gave a strong warning to British ambassador’

January 21, 2020 - 19:24

TEHRAN - Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Monday that Iran had given a strong warning to British Ambassador Rob Macaire, who was arrested briefly by police for attending an unauthorized demonstration in central Tehran on January 11.

“Following the British ambassador’s presence in an illegal gathering, he received a serious warning to avoid repeating such behavior,” IRNA quoted Araqchi as saying.

“We summoned the ambassador. We reprimanded him severely and after that the Foreign Ministry issued a statement in last line of which we warned of tougher action than summoning in case such behavior is repeated,” he said.

He added, “I think this is a very clear message about this unconventional action of the British side.”

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

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.

Araghchi said in a tweet on January 12 that Macaire had been temporarily arrested for participating in an “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.

Some MPs have called for expulsion of the British ambassador and reducing the level of interaction with London. 

On Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, “There is no doubt that the behavior of Britain’s ambassador was against diplomatic norms and was unconventional but the Foreign Ministry summoned him and made a strong protest against him and the British government.” 


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