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Iran summons British envoy to protest 'interventionist' remarks on national journalist day

The file photo shows a view of the Iranian Foreign Ministry building in the capital, Tehran.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the British envoy to Tehran, Simon Shercliff, to voice protest against the diplomat’s interventionist remarks on the occasion of the national journalist day in the country.

Shercliff on Tuesday posted a tweet asking the Iranian government to “release all arbitrarily detained individuals, including all journalists.” He was referring to journalists detained in Iran in the wake of last year’s riots in the country. Some are currently being held and investigated for potential links to rioters.  

A statement by the ministry said Iran strongly objected to Shercliff’s remarks, which were against diplomatic norms.

“[Issuing] imprudent and irresponsible remarks that are contrary to diplomatic norms is a clear example of interference in the internal affairs [of Iran] and is unacceptable,” the statement quoted the director general of the Western Europe bureau at the foreign ministry as telling Shercliff in a meeting at the ministry.

The diplomat said Britain “is in no position to make statements” on Iran, given its “indefensible” policy towards the Iranian people.

The British envoy, in response, stressed his country’s will to keep respectful relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the ministry’s statement said.

Iran says the 2022 riots in the country were the result of foreign-backed elements exploiting the unfortunate death of a young girl named Mahsa Amini to wreak havoc across the country.

Tehran has over the past months summoned the British envoy several times to protest the UK’s support for rioters.

Iran says London-based media, including BBC Persian and Iran International, have engaged in “media terrorism”,  inciting violence and acts of vandalism in the country.

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