Iran Detains British Embassy Staff

Says 8 local employees had taken part in election protests
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 28, 2009 9:46 AM CDT
British Foreign Minister David Miliband looks on ahead a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Iran on the island of Corfu, Greece, on Sunday, June 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
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(Newser) – Iranian authorities have detained several local employees of the British Embassy in Tehran, a move that Britain's foreign secretary today called "harassment and intimidation" and reflected a hardening of the regime's stance toward the West. Iranian media said eight local embassy staff were detained for an alleged role in post-election protests, but gave no further details.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said "about nine" employees were detained yesterday and that four had been released. The detentions signaled a further toughening of Iran's dealings with the West, which has become increasingly vocal in its condemnation of a crackdown on opposition supporters. Last week, Iran expelled two British diplomats, and Britain responded in kind.