Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

Asia-pacific

UK seeks 'urgent' clarification on embassy staff's fate

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-04

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband (pictured) said on Friday he was "urgently seeking clarification" on Iran's plans for local staff members of Britain's Tehran embassy to face trial on suspicion of taking part in post-election violence.

AFP - British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Friday he was "urgently seeking clarification" of Iran's announcement that local staff working at Britain's Tehran embassy will face trial.
   
Miliband said he was "deeply concerned" about staff being detained, stressing his confidence that they had not engaged in illegal activities despite Iranian allegations they had instigated post-election violence.
   
"We have noted the remarks by Ayatollah (Ahmad) Jannati suggesting that some of our local staff in Iran may face trial," Miliband said in a statement.
   
"We are urgently seeking clarification from the appropriate Iranian authorities. I intend to speak to Foreign Minister (Manouchehr) Mottaki.
   
"We are confident that our staff have not engaged in any improper or illegal behaviour. We remain deeply concerned about the two members of our staff who remain in detention in Iran."
   
Jannati, the head of Iran's powerful Guardians Council, said at Friday prayers that some local British embassy staff would be put on trial for their alleged role in stoking violence after the June 12 presidential vote.
   
A total of nine local staff at the British embassy in Tehran were initially arrested late last month but the British government said seven have been released, while Iranian state television has said only one remains in custody.
   
Foreign Office permanent under-secretary Peter Ricketts summoned Iranian ambassador Rasoul Movahedian in London and "stressed the need for urgent clarification" of the issue.
   
"He (Ricketts) reiterated the need for the detained British Embassy staff in Tehran to be released as soon as possible and without charge," a Foreign Office statement said.
   
The calling-in of the ambassador was part of a coordinated protest by EU countries over the detention of the British embassy staff, a move welcomed by Miliband.
   
An EU diplomat said: "We can confirm that one of the actions agreed at yesterday's political directors' meeting was that EU members should as soon as possible summon the Iranian ambassadors across the EU to demand the immediate release of embassy personnel."
   
Tehran has already expelled two British diplomats from Iran in actions reciprocated by London, over Iranian allegations that Britain stirred unrest that erupted over the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
   
The president's rivals say his victory was fraudulent and marred by widespread irregularities.
   
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "Allegations that our staff were fomenting unrest are wholly without foundation."
 

Date created : 2009-07-04

COMMENT(S)