UK summons Iran’s envoy over ambassador’s Tehran arrest

LONDON (AA): Britain summoned Iran’s ambassador to the U.K. on Monday for explanation on its ambassador’s brief arrest in Iran by security services at the weekend.

“In relation to the arrest of the U.K.’s ambassador over the weekend, I would say this was an unacceptable breach of the Vienna convention and it needs to be investigated,” a statement by a Downing Street spokesman said.

He said: “We are seeking full assurances from the Iranian government that this will never happen again. The FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] has summoned the Iranian ambassador today to convey our strong objections.”

British Ambassador Rob Macaire was briefly detained Saturday during demonstrations in Tehran over the shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner by Iranian forces.

The arrest of U.K.’s ambassador to Iran is a “flagrant violation of international law,” British foreign secretary said Saturday.

“The Iranian government is at a cross-roads 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,” Dominic Raab said in a statement.

On Saturday, Iran admitted that the Ukrainian aircraft was “accidentally” hit by an Iranian missile early Wednesday that killed all 176 people on board.

The incident occurred on Iran launched a dozen ballistic missiles at airbases housing U.S. forces in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force, in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq.

In a written statement, Iran’s top military authority said the plane was accidentally shot down by the air defense system as a result of a “human error” while it was passing over a “sensitive military point.”