Iran to use UK travel advisory as "proof" against British Embassy employee

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Tehran, July 5 (ANI): Iran is set to use a travel advisory posted on the British Foreign Office's website as evidence against a British Embassy employee in the political plot trial.

British embassy's chief political analyst Hossein Rassam, 44, was accused of being a British agent provocateur behind last month's post-election street protests, the Telegraph reports.

Iran has claimed that a Foreign Office warning that the elections might lead to street disturbances shows that Downing Street was intent on meddling from the outset.

"We discovered that even a website affiliated to the British Foreign Office had announced last March that public unrest and riots may erupt on the streets during the June elections in Iran. It advised its nationals to be careful and not to appear in public places during that period. These indicated their true intentions," said Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of Iran Guardian's Council.

Britain, however, has denied that its staff contributed in any way to fomenting a "Velvet revolution."

"It is a standard line that we issue as a routine travel precaution for any country where there is a possibility of political unrest around an election. Similar advice was issued for Thailand and Lebanon, for example," a spokesman said.

Tehran's moves will add to fears that it is planning a "show trial" for Rassam as part of its bid to prove that last month's disturbances were orchestrated by Britain.

Rassam, who had previously worked in Iran as an independent political analyst, is being held along with hundreds of other political detainees in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison.

His friends rallied to his defence, describing him as a decent family man who was being used as a "pawn" in Iran's spat with Britain.

"His only interest was in explaining to people, including foreigners, how things in Iran worked, and doing so in an impartial way," Rassam's friend said. (ANI)

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