Britain’s ambassador to Iran has been arrested during protests outside a university in the capital city Tehran.
Robert Macaire was detained for more than an hour before being released, the Iranian Tasnim news agency reported.
Foreign secretary Dominic 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 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.”
Tasnim news, which has close connections with Iran’s Islamic revolutionary guard corps (IRGC), tweeted on Saturday night: “British ambassador to Tehran has been detained for organizing suspicious movements and protests in front of Amir Kabir University but released after hours and will be summoned by foreign ministry tomorrow [Sunday] morning.”
Macaire was said to have been one of a number of individuals held on suspicion of organising, provoking and directing radical actions.
Iran has witnessed anti-government protests, as protesters in Tehran on Saturday chanted slogans against the nation’s top authorities, after Iranian authorities admitted shooting down a passenger plane, killing all 176 aboard.