UK Ambassador To Iran Leaves Tehran Amid Row Over Participation In Rallies - Reports

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UK Ambassador to Iran Leaves Tehran Amid Row Over Participation in Rallies - Reports

UK Ambassador to Iran Robert Macaire has left Tehran, Iran's Tasnim News Agency reported on Wednesday amid a scandal sparked by the diplomat's brief detention over his alleged role in organizing and inciting recent protests in the capital

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th January, 2020) UK Ambassador to Iran Robert Macaire has left Tehran, Iran's Tasnim news Agency reported on Wednesday amid a scandal sparked by the diplomat's brief detention over his alleged role in organizing and inciting recent protests in the capital.

Meanwhile, the UK Foreign Office said that the ambassador's trip to London was long-planned and "very much business as usual."

On Saturday, hundreds of students gathered to honor those killed in the fatal Ukrainian plane crash in Iran. The gathering resulted in a rally demanding the resignation and prosecution of those responsible for the Ukrainian Boeing 737 plane crash on January 8 that killed all 176 people on board. The police subsequently dispersed the protesters, who demonstratively tore the portrait of slain Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, who died as a result of the US drone strike in early January.

Media initially reported that the ambassador was detained for his role in organizing the protests but the Iranian Foreign Ministry subsequently said the diplomat was briefly detained as an unidentified foreigner at the demonstration that was not authorized by the authorities.

On Sunday, Macaire was summoned by the Iranian Foreign Ministry to be reminded that the ambassador's presence at illegal gatherings went against his duties.

On the same day, Macaire wrote on Twitter that he was not attending any protests but took part in what he believed was a vigil for the victims of the Ukrainian plane crash in Tehran.

On Tuesday, Iranian judicial spokesman Gholam Hossein Ismaili said that the Iranian parliament was weighing the possibility of expelling Macaire for taking part in the rallies.

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