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Iran strongly protests British police’s failure to secure Iranian polling stations in UK

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)
An Iranian Christian woman waits to register before voting at a polling station located in a school for Tehran’s minority Christian community, on the day of the Islamic republic's presidential election on June 18, 2021. (File photo by AFP)

Iran’s Embassy in London has vehemently criticized the British police’s shortcomings in providing security for the Islamic Republic's polling stations across the UK in the 18 June presidential election.

“The embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London wrote a note to the British Foreign Secretary to strongly protest the failure of the British police to secure polling stations in the presidential election on Friday, [28 June,] and the absence of support and actions to prevent violence perpetrated against Iranian voters in some cities, including Birmingham,” Seyyed Mahdi Hosseini Matin, the deputy head of Iran’s mission to the UK, wrote in a tweet on Thursday.

Hosseini Matin added that the Iranian mission asked the British Foreign Secretary to identify and bring charges against the perpetrators and compensate for the harm inflicted on the injured and the loss imposed on Iran’s diplomatic missions.

On Friday, Hosseini Matin announced that a woman was injured in Birmingham when attackers targeted her merely for trying to exercise her right to vote in the Iranian presidential election.

He also posted a video of the assault, blaming the attack on “false claimants of democracy who have a history of conducting terrorist attacks and links to foreigners.”

Later, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador to strongly protest the “riotous and terrorist” acts against Iranian expatriates in the UK who wanted to cast their ballots.

“Democracy will be realized at the ballot boxes and not in the moves of a few rioters on the streets,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Saturday.

Later on Saturday, Hosseini Matin said three people had been arrested after the Birmingham attack, adding that Iran will seriously pursue the case.

The Iranian Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights also censured the Commonwealth member states such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand for failing to provide security for Iranians who wanted to vote in the presidential election at the embassies of their host countries.

Anti-Iran groups led a campaign of intimidation and bullying to force potential voters not the take part in the election. Nonetheless, nearly 49% of eligible voters turned out at the voting booths to cast their ballots in an election that secured Ebrahim Raeisi’s presidency with over 18 million or 62% of the votes.

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