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Britain's ambassador to Tehran denied Sunday that he took part in a demonstration that broke out at a memorial for the 176 people killed when a plane was shot down.
Students held a gathering at Tehran's Amir Kabir University on Saturday evening to honour those killed hours after Iran admitted the Ukrainian airliner was downed by mistake.
Iran's Mehr news agency said the ambassador, Rob Macaire, was arrested for his alleged "involvement in provoking suspicious acts" at the gathering in front of the university.
On Sunday, Iran confirmed his arrest as a foreigner at "an illegal gathering", but said he was released soon after being identified.
"Can confirm I wasn't taking part in any demonstrations! Went to an event advertised as a vigil for victims of #PS752 tragedy," Macaire said on Twitter, adding he had been detained half an hour after leaving the area.
"Normal to want to pay respects — some of victims were British. I left after 5 mins, when some started chanting," he said.
"Arresting diplomats is of course illegal, in all countries," he added.
He wasn't detained, but arrested as unknown foreigner in an illegal gathering. When police informed me a man's arrested who claims to be UK Amb, I said IMPOSSIBLE! only after my phone conversation w him I identified, out of big surprise, that it's him. 15 min later he was free. pic.twitter.com/VjuZxN1oTN
— Seyed Abbas Araghchi (@araghchi) January 12, 2020
Iran's deputy foreign minister on Sunday confirmed Macaire had been arrested but said he was freed soon after being identified.
"He wasn't detained, but arrested as unRead More – Source