In remarks on Thursday, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati lashed out at British Ambassador Rob Macaire for attending a gathering in Tehran and provoking the protestors.
“Britain is the source of corruption, and the Foreign Ministry must expel the UK ambassador from the country as a persona non grata,” the prominent cleric said.
In comments on Wednesday, Iranian Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmaeili said the British ambassador is deemed to be an “undesirable element” based on international regulations.
Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says London has received no formal notification that Macaire would be expelled.
The UK envoy was arrested for hours on Saturday night for his involvement in provoking suspicious acts in the gathering in front of Tehran’s Amir Kabir University, held in protest at the delayed announcement that Iran’s air defense had unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane on January 8.
Macaire, who was arrested on a charge of provoking radical acts among protesters, was freed a few hours later.