Iran 'arrests UK embassy staff'
Tehran has blamed the US and UK for post-election unrest
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The arrests are reminiscent of the 1979 US embassy hostage crisis. Evidently that is one of the rewards of engagement with Iran. Actually, as many as 150 may have been killed in Iran, and not 17, which is the more or less official government figure cited below by BBC. The EU has threatened a stiff response. The French will send a note. The British will keep a stiff upper lip.
Iran has detained eight local staff at the British embassy in Tehran on accusations of having a role in post-election riots, local reports said.
The embassy has not yet confirmed the report from the semi-official Fars news agency, which did not name its source.
Relations between the countries are strained after Tehran accused the UK of inflaming unrest, which London denies.
Some 17 people are thought to have died in street protests after the disputed 12 June presidential poll.
Tehran has expelled two British diplomats in the past week, and the UK has responded with a similar measure.
There is no independent confirmation of the latest arrests.
"Eight local employees at the British embassy who had a considerable role in recent unrest were taken into custody," Fars said, without giving a source.
The UK Foreign Office said in London: "We have in the last few days received a number of, sometimes confused, reports that British nationals or others with British connections have been detained. We continue to raise them with the Iranian authorities."
Posted by News Service at 7:58 AM