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Iran Warns about Serious Response to London’s Next Anti-Tehran Move

The Iranian Foreign Ministry categorically condemned British Ambassador Robert Macaire’s meddlesome behavior in Tehran where the envoy was arrested for provoking anti-government protests, cautioning that the next case of such destructive and illegal behaviors will be responded more harshly.

The Foreign Ministry issued a strongly-worded statement on Monday where it urged Britain’s embassy in Tehran to immediately end all types of meddlesome and provocative activities, warning that in case of repetition of such a behavior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will adopt measures tougher than summoning the ambassador.

The statement “strongly condemned” endorsement of the assassination of the hero of anti-terrorism campaign in the Middle East, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and Deputy Head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis by terrorist US forces, saying that it proved cooperation of the British regime in the terrorist measure taken by the US.

A US drone carried out an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport early on January 3, assassinating Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and the PMU second-in-command as well as eight other people.

Both commanders were admired by Muslim nations for their great acts to eliminate the US-sponsored Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

In another part of the statement, the Foreign Ministry pointed to recent apprehension of the British ambassador to Tehran for taking part in an illegal gathering, saying it was clear interference in the internal affairs of Iran and against all principles that govern diplomatic relations.

Referring to the latest remarks by UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who threatened Iran with more sanctions, the statement said, “It is clear that the British regime, on the basis of a wrong calculation, is still sticking to anti-Iran illusions and seeks to increase tensions in the region and in its relations with Iran.”

“British leaders must know that their accusations against Iran cannot hide their blindfolded subservience to the US regime and shameless inability of Britain to fulfill its commitments as per the JCPOA (the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers) and even the fact that it has refrained from paying hundreds of millions of pounds in arrears to the Iranian nation due to its fear of the United States,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said.

Pointing to Britain’s colonial background in the Middle East, it added that it is time that British envoys stopped interfering in other countries’ internal affairs and ended fueling the flames of domestic conflicts.

“Britain needs to give up such disgraceful measures,” the statement said.

On Saturday, a senior police official told local media that Macaire was arrested during a mourning vigil which turned into a protest in front of the Amir Kabir University in downtown Tehran where he was organizing and provoking people.

local media cited “informed sources” as saying that Macaire had been holding secret meetings inside a shop opposite the main gate of the Amir Kabir University to monitor the developments that led to the protest on Saturday.

During the meeting at the Foreign Ministry, Macaire was reminded that the presence of foreign ambassadors in unlawful gatherings is not in line with their responsibilities as a political representative of their country and it is contrary to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.

Meanwhile, it is noted that the British government should explain this matter.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has commented on the arrest of its ambassador in Tehran, terming it as being against international norms.

Some parliamentarians urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take the necessary measures against the UK ambassador’s move, which they said is “against all international norms”. 

Macaire was summoned by the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday to receive an official protest note due to his unusual behavior and participation in an unlawful gathering held in front of the Amir Kabir University in downtown Tehran on Saturday night.

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