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Raab accuses Iran of violating international law after UK ambassador arrested

Rob Macaire was held in Tehran during anti-government protests

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

By Gavin Cordon, PA Whitehall Editor

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has condemned the arrest of Britain’s ambassador to Iran during anti-government protests as a “flagrant violation” of international law.

Rob Macaire was held for over an hour on suspicion of organising, provoking and directing radical actions before being released, according to local reports.

Mr Raab said in a statement: “The arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law.

“The Iranian government is at a crossroads moment.

“It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to de-escalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards.”

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People gather for a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the Ukraine plane crash, at the gate of Amir Kabir University in Tehran (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

According the Iranian Tasnim news agency, Mr Macaire was one of a number of people arrested in connection with protests at the Amir Kabir University.

It came as a wave of demonstrations broke out across the country in protest at the accidental downing of a Ukrainian airliner by Iranian missiles shortly after take off from Tehran airport.

It is understood that Mr Macaire had been attending what had been billed as a vigil for the victims of the crash.

However the event quickly turned into a demonstration at which point Mr Macaire left.

It was as he was returning to the British embassy that he was arrested – although it is not clear who he was held by.

Following a number of urgent calls to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs he was eventually released and allowed to return to the embassy.

PA

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