UK Envoy Arrested for Attending Illegal Gathering: Iran’s Deputy FM

UK Envoy Arrested for Attending Illegal Gathering: Iran’s Deputy FM

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said Britain’s Ambassador to Iran Rob Macaire was temporarily arrested for participating in an “illegal gathering” in the capital, 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,” Araqchi tweeted on Sunday.

The comments came in response to a recent tweet by head of European Union foreign policy Josep Borrell who expressed concerns over the envoy’s “temporary detention”.

“Very concerned about the temporary detention of the UK Ambassador @HMATehran in Iran. Full respect of the Vienna convention is a must. The EU calls for de-escalation and space for diplomacy,” Borrell wrote.

Araqchi incorporated his tweet in his post.

Rob Macaire was held for over an hour for organizing, provoking and directing suspicious acts in protests in Tehran last night before being released. 

It came when a protest gathering was held after Iran’s public announcement that its military unintentionally shot down a Ukranian passenger plane on January 8. 

On Saturday evening, a group of students gathered inside Amir Kabir University to voice their protest after the announcement. An informed source told Tasnim that a shop which is located in front of Amir Kabir University was used as envoy’s place for coordination.