Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Iran media says foreign diplomats arrested

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards arrested several foreign diplomats including a Briton, accusing them of “spying”, the Fars news agency and state television said. But the British government quickly denied that any of its personnel had been arrested, describing the reports as “completely false”. “The Revolutionary Guards’ intelligence service identified and arrested diplomats from foreign embassies who were spying in Iran,” Fars said, adding that a British diplomat was subsequently expelled from the country. State television however reported that the Briton, identified as Giles Whitaker, the UK government’s deputy head of mission in Iran, was only expelled from “the area” where the diplomats had been arrested in central Iran. State television accused him of “carrying out intelligence operations” in military areas. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/iran-media-says-foreign-diplomats-arrested/ar-AAZi8Wf) Video showed images of a man presented as Whitaker speaking in a room. A state TV journalist said the diplomat “was among those who went to the Shahdad desert with his family as tourists”, referring to an area in central Iran. The developments coincide with heightening tensions between Tehran and world powers over long-stalled attempts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal and a recent uptick in confirmed detentions of Western nationals in the country.

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