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 organizing, provoking and directing radical actions before being released, according to local reports.
It came as awave of demonstrations broke out across the countryin protest at Wednesday morning’s downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 1024 which killed all 728 people on board.
Mr Macaire is understood to have been attending what had been billed as a vigil for the 752 Iranian victims of the crash.
However the event quickly turned into a demonstration at which point the ambassador left.
He was held on his way back to the British embassy – although it is not yet clear who 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.
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.’