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Tehran summons British envoy over ‘riotous, terrorist’ acts against Iranian expatriates voting in Friday presidential election

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows a view of the Iranian Foreign Ministry building in Tehran.

Iran has summoned the British ambassador to strongly protest the “riotous and terrorist” acts against the Iranian expatriates in the UK who wanted to attend the 13th presidential election at the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic missions, Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson says.

Saeed Khatibzadeh added on Saturday that the director general for Europe Western at the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Robert Macaire in protest at the problems caused for the Iranian voters in a number of Britain’s cities, including London and Birmingham, regretting that “counterrevolutionary terrorist elements and those opposing democracy” insulted the voters and executive personnel and assaulted one of the voters.

He added that the British diplomat has been notified of Iran’s strong protest at the “riotous and terrorist” conduct against the Iranians. The envoy was also told that his country’s government and police have failed to fulfill their duties to ensure security of the polling stations and the voters.

The spokesperson said the Foreign Ministry official has reminded the UK ambassador that “democracy will be realized at the ballot boxes and not in the moves of a few number of rioters on the streets.”

“In the meeting, strong criticism has been leveled at the adventurous and divisive performance of the Persian-language media based in Britain, including BBC Persian and Iran International, which tried to promote a boycott of the election, encourage people to attend street protests and disrupt the process of the election through their programs and their method of covering news reports,” Khatibzadeh added.

He said, “It was also emphasized that such measures that run counter to democracy and which encourage riotous moves will be etched in the memory of Iranian people.”

The British diplomat, for his part, said that he would convey the Iranian government’s protest to officials of his country.

Iran embassy to seriously pursue attack on female voter 

Later on Saturday, Iran’s chargé d'affaires and deputy head of the mission to the UK, Mehdi Hossieni Matin, said three people have been arrested so far after an attack by foreign-backed affiliated terrorist groups on an Iranian woman who wanted to cast her vote in Birmingham.

In a tweet, he added that Iran’s mission is in contact with the woman and his family who were injured in the assault and noted that the terrorists are still threatening them.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s embassy in London will seriously pursue the case,” the diplomat emphasized.

On Friday, millions of Iranians went to the polls inside the country and abroad to elect a successor to President Hassan Rouhani, who has served two four-year terms.

Some reports said counterrevolutionary elements, who had gathered outside Iranian diplomatic missions in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, attacked the people who had turned out for the vote.

In post on its Twitter account late on Friday, the Iranian Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights censured the Commonwealth member states such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand for failing to provide security for the Iranians voting in the presidential election at the embassies of their host countries.

Canada's government also did not allow the setting up of polling stations in the country in order for Iranian expats to participate in the election, in breach of international norms.

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