Iran frees a British embassy employee, another still held
London, July 6 (ANI): One of the last two British Embassy employees, held in Iran on the alleged charges of being behind last month's post-election violence in the country, has been released.
The British Foreign Office on Monday confirmed the news, but added that embassy's chief political analyst Hossein Rassam is still under detention. ine staff were originally arrested after the disputed re-election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the street protests that followed. ritish Foreign Secretary David Miliband has launched a defence for Rassam, who is said by his lawyer to face trial for "acting against national security".
"The allegations of improper conduct have absolutely no basis. (Rassam is) an honourable, patriotic Iranian, who has been working in a completely open and transparent way for the UK," Miliband said.
"I think it is very, very important that we send a clear message that we are confident about the way he has been doing his job, that we are clear about our goal, which is his release, unharmed and also that there is unity across the international community," he added.
Earlier, Tehran publicly accuses the UK of fomenting the unrest and a senior cleric said on Friday that some embassy staff, all Iranian, had "confessed" to playing a part and would face trial.
EU member states summoned the Iranian ambassadors to their countries to deliver co-ordinated warnings that the treatment of the British embassy staff was unacceptable.
The latest developments will be discussed today by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy at an Anglo-French summit in Evian-les-Bains.
President Sarkozy has expressed "total" solidarity with Britain and urged stronger sanction against Iran "so that Iranian leaders will really understand that the path that they have chosen will be a dead end". (ANI)