UK Embassy Staff Will Face Trial in Iran

Leading cleric also accuses Britain of instigating protests
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 3, 2009 6:14 AM CDT
A woman passes Iranian police officers as they stand guard in front of the British Embassy during an anti-British protest in Tehran, Iran.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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(Newser) – Some of the detained Iranian staffers of the British Embassy in Tehran will be put on trial, the leader of the country's powerful Guardian Council said today. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati also accused Britain of a role in instigating widespread protests that erupted over the country's disputed presidential election. Yesterday, the EU demanded that Iran release the employees, and Britain is pushing for all 27 EU nations to pull their ambassadors out of Tehran.

It's unclear who is being put on trial or how many staffers remain detained. Iranian officials had said all but one of the eight embassy personnel arrested on June 27 had been released, but the EU believes more than one was still being held. Jannati told worshipers in Tehran that the arrested employees had "made confessions," and he said those involved in protests "need to repent and ask God to forgive them."