The British ambassador to Iran was arrested Saturday for allegedly “inciting” protesters that were taking to the streets again against the regime outside of the University of Tehran. The protests sprang from a vigil at the university for the victims of the airliner shot down by Iranian forces.  

Ambassador Rob Macaire was arrested by Iranian security forces and briefly held for suspicion of organizing, provoking, and directing radical actions, the Iranian Tasnim news agency said. 

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab blasted the Tehran regime in a strongly worded statement in which he called the arrest a “flagrant violation of international law” and said that Iran was marching towards “pariah status.” 

Macaire, a career diplomat with over 30 years of service to the crown, was attending a vigil for the victims of the crash, which included 82 Iranian citizens and many others of Iranian descent. The vigil turned into a demonstration protest against the regime, which was when Macaire left and was returning to the British Embassy. 

On his way back, he stopped at a barbershop for a haircut, and there he was arrested. Only after several calls to the Iranian Foreign Ministry was Macaire released and allowed to return to the British Embassy. 

Raab was furious and said in a statement, “The arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law. The Iranian government is at a crossroads moment. It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to de-escalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forward.”

The British Ambassador.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus took to Twitter and called Macaire’s arrest a violation of the Vienna Convention, which she said the Iranian regime “has a notorious history of violating.”

“We call on the regime to formally apologize to the U.K. for violating his rights and to respect the rights of all diplomats,” Ortagus said on social media.