Iranian authorities briefly arrested the British ambassador to Tehran on Saturday, before releasing him an hour later. The ambassador denies having participated in a demonstration
According to the Daily Mail, the ambassador was arrested for allegedly “inciting” the demonstrators in Tehran who expressed their anger towards the authorities after the disaster, many of whose victims were Iranian. He was released about an hour later.
“The arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without foundation or explanation is a gross violation of international law,” said Foreign Minister Raab.
“I can confirm that I did not take part in any demonstration”, writes Mr. Macaire on Twitter. “I went to an event announced as a vigil for the victims of the tragedy (theft) îPS 752” of Ukrainian International Airlines, shot down Wednesday near Tehran, adds he, “I left the place after 5 minutes when some started to launch slogans” against the authorities.
Thanks for the many goodwill messages . Can confirm I wasn’t taking part in any demonstrations! Went to an event advertised as a vigil for victims of #PS 752 tragedy. Normal to want to pay respects- some of victims were British. I left after 5 mins, when some started chanting.
– Rob Macaire (@HMATehran) January 12, 752
M. Raab believed that Iran must choose between “its march towards a pariah status” or “take measures for de-escalation and to embark on the diplomatic path”.
Internal tensions in the country
Iranian President Hassan Rohani admitted on Saturday, after three days of denials, that the Ukrainian plane had been shot down by mistake by a missile from the Iranian air defense.
The Iranian police dispersed on Saturday students who chanted in Tehran destructive “and” radical “slogans during a rally in memory of the victims aboard the Ukrainian Boeing, according to the Iranian news agency Fars.
Several hundred students gathered in the early evening in memory of the victims of this disaster which caused 176 dead, mostly Iranians and Canadians, including binationals.
The rally, at the prestigious Ami University r Kabir from Tehran, turned into a manifestation of anger. The crowd launched slogans denouncing “the liars” and demanding prosecution of those responsible for the drama and those who, according to the demonstrators, tried to cover it up.