Middle East, Europe

Iran claims to have arrested UK's deputy head of mission for espionage

UK’s Foreign Office says reports of arrest of British diplomat ‘completely false’

Mustafa Melih Ahishali and Zehra Nur Duz   | 07.07.2022
Iran claims to have arrested UK's deputy head of mission for espionage


Iran claimed Wednesday that it had detained the UK's deputy ambassador in Tehran for allegedly taking samples of soil from a region where missile exercises were being conducted.

Giles Whitaker and several other foreign nationals were detained by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) after it was determined that they took the samples in a "forbidden area" where military drills were carried out in the Shahdad desert in southeastern Kerman province, according to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency.

It reported that the IRGC released a video showing Whitaker near the site.

The footage was broadcast by Iranian state television and it was reported that Whitaker would be deported.

Later on Wednesday, the UK’s Foreign Office denied the Iranian claims that Britain's second-most senior envoy in the country had been arrested.

"Reports of the arrest of a British diplomat in Iran are completely false," a Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement provided to Sky News.

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