Rob Macaire, Britain’s ambassador to Iran has been arrested in Tehran, Iran’s capital during protests outside a university.
The UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said the arrest of Rob Macaire was a “flagrant violation of international law,’’ according to UK Independent.
The ambassador was detained for more than an hour before being released.
He is said to have been one of a number of individuals held on suspicion of organising, provoking and directing radical actions in Tehran on Saturday.
In a statement, Raab said, “The arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law.
“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 de-escalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards.”
Tasnim news, an organisation linked to Iran’s Islamic revolutionary guard, tweeted that the British ambassador was detained “for organizing suspicious movements and protests in front of Amir Kabir University but released after hours.”
It added that Macaire would be “summoned by the foreign ministry tomorrow morning.”
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, the Independent reports.
Iranians took to the streets in protest on Saturday calling for the immediate resignation of their Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khramenei.
This was after Iran finally admitted shooting down a Ukrainian international airliner killing the 176 passengers and crew after days of withholding the truth.
Iran had denied for days after Wednesday’s crash that it brought down the plane.
The Kiev-bound passenger airliner was shot down shortly after take off hours after Iran launched over 15 missile attacks on US bases in Iraq.