Iran says it has arrested a British diplomat for spying in a forbidden area whereas the UK has denied the allegations, calling them completely false.
Iran has claimed the arrest of British Deputy Ambassador Giles Whitaker in Tehran for illegally collecting soil samples from a forbidden area.
AP has quoted a narrator as saying that despite the signs of a forbidden area, he went further and took samples and a picture as well. As per local media reports, a Polish scientist at Copernicus University in Poland, Maciej Walczak, and the husband of Austria’s cultural attaché in Iran, were also involved in collecting samples of soil, water, and salt from the prohibited region.
On the contrary, the British government has categorically denied the reports of the arrest of the diplomat in Tehran. Hours after the report on Iranian media, the British Foreign Ministry spokesman called them “completely false”.
According to Iranian media, the British diplomat was immediately detained on the charges of espionage. Iran’s state TV had played the footage of the diplomat, showing him caught red-handed collecting samples while under drone surveillance.
According to Iranian news agency ‘Tasnim’, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had arrested the UK diplomat along with several other foreign nationals who had collected samples from the Shahadat Desert area in the southeast Kerman province where missile tests and military drills are conducted.
According to some Iranian media reports, Whitaker was expelled from the area after offering an apology.