Rob Macaire Bio – British Ambassador Iran
Robert Nigel Paul Macaire CMG is a British diplomat who has been the UK’s ambassador to Iran since 2018
Rob Macaire is Britain’s ambassador in Iran has been summoned to explain his ‘illegal and inappropriate presence’ at an anti-government protest, the Iranian foreign ministry has said.
Rob Macaire was detained for a short time on Saturday night after attending a vigil for those who died when Iran’s military shot down a passenger plane.
He left the vigil when it turned into a protest but was later accused of helping to organise the demonstrations.
Quick Facts You Need to Know
- Rob Macaire was arrested after protests yesterday against Ayatollah Khamenei in Tehran
- He said he was attending a vigil for the victims of the Boeing crash and not taking part in demonstrations
- The diplomat was arrested, contravening international law, and was held for half an hour by police
- Security Minister Brandon Lewis said the arrest of the ambassador was ‘totally unacceptable’
Rob Macaire Age
He born on 19 February 1966 and 53 years old.
Rob Macaire Arrested in Iran
Rob Macaire was called into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after being arrested by police on Saturday as demonstrations broke out in Tehran over the downing of a Ukrainian airliner by Iranian forces.
The move threatened to further escalate the diplomatic dispute between London and Tehran after Foreign Minister Dominic Raab denounced Mr Macaire’s detention as a “flagrant violation” of international law.
Dozens of Iranian hardliners are reported to have gathered in front of the British embassy to sing “Death to England” and to request the Ambassador’s expulsion.
Mr. Macaire previously denied having participated in the demonstrations. He said he attended a vigil for the victims of flight PS752 when protests broke out and he left.
“Can confirm that I did not take part in demonstrations! I went to an event that was announced as a vigil for the victims of the PS752 tragedy, ”he tweeted.
Usually, you wanted to pay respect – some of the victims were British. I left after five minutes when some started to sing. ‘
Mr. Macaire said he was arrested 30 minutes after he left the area, although he was later released.
The semi-official news agency Tasnim said he was one of several people arrested outside Amir Kabir University on suspicion of having organized, provoked and directed radical actions.
The State Department later announced on its telegram channel that he had been summoned to the protest because of his “illegal and inappropriate presence”.
Rob Macaire Tweet
The latest move has threatened to further escalate the tensions between London and Tehran after the UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, denounced Macaire’s detention as a “flagrant violation” of international law.
Macaire, who was released shortly after Iranian diplomatic officials learned of his arrest, tweeted that he had attended what was advertised as a vigil, left after five minutes as it began to turn into a protest, and was detained 30 minutes later as he made his way back to the embassy.
He said it was normal to wish to pay respects, adding that some of the 176 who died were British. “Arresting diplomats is of course illegal, in all countries,” he tweeted.
Thanks for the many goodwill messages. Can confirm I wasn’t taking part in any demonstrations! 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.
— Rob Macaire (@HMATehran) January 12, 2020
Statements and Condemned After Released
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned Mr Macaire’s arrest in a joint statement following a phone call on Sunday, in which they discussed their “shared interests in ensuring Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon”.
And Security Minister Brandon Lewis said on Sunday that the UK ambassador’s arrest was “totally unacceptable” and a breach of the 1961 Vienna Convention.
“Iran does need to step back from that kind of activity and play a proper part in working with partners to de-escalate,” Mr. Lewis told Sky’s, Sophy Ridge.
Under the convention, diplomats cannot be detained. The Foreign Office is to demand a full explanation.
In a statement issued on Saturday night Mr. Raab added: “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 deescalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forward.”
The Iranian Etemad newspaper shared a picture of the ambassador on Twitter after the Tasnim news agency reported his arrest.