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Iran: Embassies

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of (a) the extent and nature of the recent harassment of guests to the United Kingdom embassy in Iran and (b) the extent to which the Iranian authorities assisted in minimising the harassment and controlling the demonstrators; and if she will make a statement. (145920)

There was a large demonstration outside our embassy in Tehran before and during Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Party reception on 14 June. The demonstrators blocked access to the embassy for some hours and harassed and intimidated guests on their way into the reception. There were some instances of physical violence. Harassment continued as guests left the party and we are aware of a number of instances of guests being questioned and detained on departure.

The Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office summoned the Iranian ambassador on 19 June to register our dismay that the authorities had failed to prevent this harassment from taking place. Our embassy in Tehran has done likewise with the Iranian authorities.