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  • Iranians gather to show their sympathy to the victims of the crash of the Boeing 737-800 plane, flight PS 752, in Tehran, Iran January 11, 2020.

    Iranians gather to show their sympathy to the victims of the crash of the Boeing 737-800 plane, flight PS 752, in Tehran, Iran January 11, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 January 2020

“Today, Rob Macaire was summoned because of his unconventional behaviour of attending an illegal rally on Saturday”, the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced. 

The Iranian Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday that the U.K.'s Ambassador to Tehran was summoned over his participation in the anti-government protests this weekend.

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“Today, Rob Macaire was summoned because of his unconventional behaviour of attending an illegal rally on Saturday”, the Foreign Ministry's website said. 

Prior to his summoning, Macaire was reportedly detained by the Iranian authorities for breaking diplomatic protocol by photographing and 'organizing' the protests. 

Macaire, in turn, responded to the allegations by stating that he did not participate in the protests, but rather was attending the rally "to pay respects" to the victims that were on board the Ukrainian airliner that was mistakenly shot down by Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

The British ambassador said in a separate tweet that he was arrested a half hour after leaving the vigil, adding that the arrest of diplomats is "illegal in all countries."

The tensions in the Persian Gulf reached a decade-long high these past two weeks, following the assassination of the Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. 

Iran responded to the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by the U.S. with a missile barrage on two bases hosting American troops in Iraq. This response from Tehran prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to impose harsher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

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