Iran Arrests British Ambassador at Protest in Tehran, Releases After Detention of Hour; Update: UK Condemns

The British ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, was arrested by the Iranian government at the scene of an anti-regime protest in Tehran Saturday night (local time). Macaire was reportedly taking pictures and video of the protest at Amir Kabir University. He was reportedly accused of organizing or inciting the protest but was released after being held for an hour or several hours.

Photo released by IRGC.

Iran’s Tasnim News reported (via translation), “In Tehran, he was detained for an hour after being suspected of organizing suspicious movements in front of Amir Kabir University and then released. The protest was told after his detention”

https://twitter.com/Tasnimnews_Fa/status/1216097451813285892

An unconfirmed report says Macaire was released after Iran Foreogn Minister Javad Zarif intervened, “british Ambassador to #IRAN;Rob Mcaire (@HMATehran) was arrested in #Tehran anti government protest in front of Amirkabir University. He was hiding his identity first and pretended to not understand Farsi. Thanks to @JZarif, released in few hours.”

Another unconfirmed report says Macaire was forced to delete his photos and video, “#Update: Just in – The Iranian security forces have forced the British ambassador to delete all of the pictures and videos he has been taking from the protests in #Tehran in #Iran today, after he was accused of starting these protests across the country. #UK”

A memeber of the Iranian parliament, Hamid Rasaee, accused Macaire of wetting his pants when he was arrested, “In front of Amir Kabir University, while taking a photo of Wafil, arrested and detained, wet his pants! We look forward to seeing a doctorate #گلدین_گلاسکو And the jokes of meeting Johnson are miraculous or the independence of the Iranian people is respected and the fox’s nose is rubbed into the ground. #روباه_در_تله”


As always, unconfirmed reports should be read with a skeptical eye.

UPDATE: UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab issued a statement condemning the arrest of Macaire as a “flagrant violation of international law”.

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