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Iranian Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said on Tuesday that the British ambassador to Tehran should be expelled from Iran over his alleged participation in anti-government protests.

“Under international law, such a person is a persona non grata,” Esmaili told newsmen on Tuesday, arguing that he “illegally” participated in the “illegal” gatherings and captured videos and photos.

Iranian officials arrested Robert Macaire on Saturday claiming that he participated in anti-government protests outside a university in Tehran and was detained for more than an hour.

However, he was eventually released.

Macaire was attending an event on Saturday, which was advertised as a vigil for the 176 people who died in Wednesday’s crash of a Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737, shortly before he was arrested.

He was held for three hours when he stopped at a barbershop for a haircut on his way back to the British embassy.

In a tweet following his arrest, the ambassador said he was attending the vigil because it was “normal to want to pay respects”, adding that some of the victims were British.

Iran’s ambassador to the UK has been summoned to the Foreign Office (FCO), following the detention of his British counterpart in Tehran last week.

The FCO said the arrest of Macaire after a vigil for victims of last week’s plane crash was illegal and should be investigated.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK would “demand an apology” and seek assurances it will not happen again.

Iranian ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad was expected to attend the FCO later.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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