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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Iran Arrests 8 British Embassy Staff; Britain Calls Move "Harassment"

28/06/2009 | AlmanarTV

Iran has arrested eight local staff at the British embassy on accusations of having a role in the post-election riots, the Fars news agency reported on Sunday. Fars, without giving a source, said those arrested had a "considerable role" in the violence that erupted after the re-election of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Britain reacted swiftly to the reports of the arrests, accusing Iran of "harassment."

Iran's arrest of eight British embassy staff in Tehran is "harrassment" and "intimidation", British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Sunday.

Britain is "deeply concerned" by the arrest of "hardworking diplomatic staff", Miliband said on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe on the Greek island of Corfu.

Rafsanjani Urges Cooperation With Guardian Council, Mousavi Rejects

Earlier, defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi has rejected a government proposal to recount 10 percent of all ballot boxes.

"This kind of recount will not remove ambiguities...There is no other way but annulment of the vote...Some members of this committee are not impartial," Mousavi said in a statement on his website.

Another defeated candidate Sheikh Mehdi Karroubi, also rejected the notion and called for the recent election results to be annulled.

On Friday, the spokesman of Iran's electoral watchdog, the Guardians Council, Abbasali Kadkhodai said that there was no fraud in the June 12 presidential election that saw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad win a new four-year term.

The Expediency Discernment Council, the highest political arbitral authority in Iran, has urged the candidates to fully cooperate with the Guardian Council. In a statement, the Council’s chief Sheikh Hashemi Rafsanjani said that the best way to resolve the situation and eliminate ambiguities was through legal channels. Rafsanjani called on the defeated candidates to fully cooperate with the Guardian Council and take advantage of the positive atmosphere to raise their issues and present their documents for an in-depth study.

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