Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has warned Iran of further political and economic isolation if the country does not start charting “a peaceful way forwards”.
The government, which has been urging a de-escalation of tensions since the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by the US, is still seeking a full, independent investigation in the Ukranian Airways crash, in which four Britons died. Brits are currently not recommended to travel to Iran, which has unilaterally pulled back from the nuclear deal the JCPOA, which restricted the country from developing weapons.
Tensions between the two countries have fallen further over the weekend, since UK ambassador Rob Macaire was arrested and held illegally for three hours, after attending a public vigil to pay his respect to the victims of Flight 752, which was accidentally downed by an Iranian missile.
This was in direct contradiction of the Vienna Convention.
Speaking in the Commons this afternoon, Raab said: “The regime in Tehran is at a crossroads. It can slip further and further into political and economic isolation. But there is an alternative and the regime does have a choice. The diplomatic door remains open. Now it the time for Iran to engage in diplomacy and chart a peaceful way forwards.
Raab confirmed he had summoned the Iranian ambassador to the Foreign Office, “to demand an apology and seek full assurances this will not happen again”.
Raab told MPs: “His arrest… without grounds or explanation, was a flagrant violation of international law… Given the treatment of the ambassador, we are keeping security measures for the embassy under review.”
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