Iran releases more UK embassy staff


Iranian authorities are believed to have released more British Embassy employees who were arrested in Tehran at the weekend.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he thought there were now only two being held in the Iranian capital – down from four on Monday.

Local news reports supported the suggestion that there had been further releases, but varied as to how many.

The Foreign Office described the numbers as “fluid” and said it was not possible to confirm exact figures.

Confusion arose after Mr Miliband indicated in an interview with Irish radio station RTE that there were now only two embassy staff being held.

Downing Street had said on Monday that there were four under arrest, after five of the initial nine were freed.

Mr Miliband said: “The fact that now British diplomats have been expelled and locally engaged British staff… should have been arrested – we think that two of them are still under arrest – is I think completely contrary to the sort of good political engagement that Iran says it wants.”

Iranian news reports also said that there had been further releases.

But the Fars News Agency suggested only one more person had been freed, while the country’s English-language Press TV said three more had been released.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said later: “The situation on numbers in detention is fluid and as such we are not able to confirm exact figures.”

PressAssociation.com

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