British Ambassador to Iran Rob Macaire attended a vigil for the victims of Iran’s “accidental” attack on a Ukrainian passenger jet but left after it turned into an anti-government demonstration.
Macaire decided to get a haircut but as he was leaving the barbershop, he was arrested by Iranian authorities.
“Thanks for the many goodwill messages. Can confirm I wasn’t taking part in any demonstrations!” he tweeted.
“Went to an event advertised as a vigil for victims of #PS752 tragedy. Normal to want to pay respects- some of victims were British. I left after 5 mins, when some started chanting.
“Detained half an hour after leaving the area. Arresting diplomats is of course illegal, in all countries. See comments by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.”
Macaire was held for over an hour on suspicion of “organizing, provoking and directing radical actions.” Raab pointed out in no uncertain terms that arresting the ambassador is a no-no.
Mr Raab said in a statement: “The arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law.
“The Iranian government is at a crossroads moment.
“It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to de-escalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards.”
The issue isn’t whether Iran is marching toward “pariah status.” Iran has been a pariah state since they detained more than 400 Americans for more than a year in 1979. And since then, there have been dozens of U.S. citizens, as well as citizens of other western nations, seized on trumped-up charges and left to rot in Iranian prisons. If that doesn’t make Iran a “pariah state” nothing will.
Why would Iran arrest this guy? He’s the kind of western stooge Iran loves.
On taking his appointment Mr Macaire said he wanted to maintain Britain’s continued engagement with Iran, which he described as “vital to our goal of making the Middle East region a safer and more stable place.”
He added that he looked forward “to working with the Government of Iran and with international partners to preserve the nuclear deal and deepen our bilateral relationship, through constructive engagement on human rights, trade, and seeking political solutions to the conflicts in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere.”
How many nations would withdraw their ambassadors if the U.S. pulled a stunt like this? “Diplomat’s row” on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington would be a ghost town.
This begs the question; why are most other nations silent about this outrage? Why aren’t they protesting this outrageous violation of international law and norms by, at the very least, recalling their ambassadors?
Iran has numbed the sensibilities of the civilized world. We’ve come to expect this sort of thing from Tehran — par for the course. When they violate international law with impunity, western governments just sigh and chalk it up to Iran’s oppression by imperialist America. Of course they act this way. They are aggrieved. They’ve been mistreated in the past. Just pat them on the head, tell them they’re good children, and send them to bed without supper.
This is the way Iran has been treated for 40 years. It hasn’t tempered their behavior one iota. In fact, it has emboldened them to the point where they are now a regional threat to their neighbors and to western allies.
And the west has no one to blame but themselves.