A top British official condemned Saturday’s arrest of the UK Ambassador to Iran during anti-government protests in Tehran, calling the detainment “a flagrant violation of international law.”
Rob Macaire, who has been the UK Ambassador to the Islamic republic since March 2018, was arrested as he stopped at a barber shop for a haircut after attending a vigil for the victims of a Ukrainian jetliner that crashed in Tehran last week, the BBC reported.
Macaire left the vigil after it became a demonstration but was later accused by Iranian authorities of helping to incite the anti-government protest, The Independent of Britain reported.
He was released after three hours but the arrest infuriated the British government.
“The arrest of our Ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.
“The Iranian government is at a cross-roads moment. It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to deescalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards.”
— ? اعتمادآنلاين (@EtemadOnline) January 11, 2020
— Foreign Office ?? (@foreignoffice) January 11, 2020
The Iranian regime arrested the British ambassador to Iran. This violates the Vienna Convention, which the regime has a notorious history of violating. We call on the regime to formally apologize to the UK for violating his rights and to respect the rights of all diplomats.
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) January 11, 2020
The voice of the Iranian people is clear. They are fed up with the regime’s lies, corruption, ineptitude, and brutality of the IRGC under @khamenei_ir's kleptocracy. We stand with the Iranian people who deserve a better future. pic.twitter.com/tBOjv9XsIG
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 11, 2020