Iran’s ambassador to the UK has been summoned to the Foreign Office for a dressing down following the ‘unacceptable’ arrest of Britain’s top diplomat in Tehran.

Ambassador Rob Macaire was arrested by Iranian police on Saturday as demonstrations broke out over the downing of a Ukrainian airliner by Iranian forces.

He was subsequently called in by the foreign ministry in Tehran to explain his ‘illegal and inappropriate’ presence at the event.

In response, Iran’s ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad has been called in for a meeting at the Foreign Office in London for ministers to convey their ‘strong objections’ to the incident, which the UK claims breaches the Vienna Convention that governs diplomatic relations.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘In relation to the arrest of the UK’s ambassador over the weekend, I would say this was an unacceptable breach of the Vienna Convention and it needs to be investigated.

‘We are seeking full assurances from the Iranian Government that this will never happen again.



‘The FCO has summoned the Iranian ambassador today to convey our strong objections.’

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard admitted accidentally shooting down the Ukrainian jet in an incident that left 176 people dead. Four were British.

Families of the victims of the downed Ukrainian International Airlines flight could seek compensation from the Iranian government, Downing Street indicated.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman added: ‘As a first step we need a comprehensive, transparent and independent investigation to know exactly what happened.

‘Of course the families of the four British victims deserve justice and closure and we will continue to do everything we can to support them in getting that, including options for compensation.’

The shooting followed increasing tensions between Iran and the USA, after President Donald Trump authorised an air strike on the country’s popular General Qasem Soleimani.