Iran declared the British ambassador to Tehran “persona non grata”, calling for him to be expelled for his alleged role in recent anti-government protests.
Iran’s judiciary spokesman said Robert Macaire had played a “provocative role” when he attended a vigil at the weekend for passengers killed in the passenger jet crash last week, amid ever-worsening tensions between the UK and Iran.
Macaire said he left the vigil as soon as the protests began and was arrested on his way to the embassy, in violation of the Vienna Convention. He was detained for several hours, before Iran’s foreign ministry intervened and arranged for his release.
An effigy of the ambassador, who took up the role two years ago, and a Union Jack flag were burned in Tehran.
“It is not acceptable for us to see that the British ambassador went outside the embassy and took part in an illegal gathering, filmed it and had a provocative role in its continuation”, - said Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, the spokesman for Iran’s judiciary.